I had never even heard of this splendid bird before our study. And that's a shame--everyone in the world needs to experience this beauty:
(Image lifted from the gorgeous pictures at http://www.natureslorephotography/.)
As we made our way through the zoo, we snapped some shots of a parrot:
But no quetzals.
Mabry was sad, sullen and downright grumpy. While she was thankful for all the beautiful birds we had seen, she refused to smile for the customary family photo. Her day was ruined. And so was ours because she had not seen a quetzal.
Her cantankerous countenance returned to the upright position as she, much to my potential embarrassment, penned a letter:
Thank you very much for your letter suggesting that the zoo get a quetzal. Your drawing of a quetzal is very nice. I really like the colors.
There are some animals that are difficult to keep in zoos and I am afraid that quetzals fit into that category. In fact, there are no quetzals in captivity. Since we only try to keep animals that will thrive in the zoo I doubt that we will ever have them. So I'm afraid that you may have to enjoy them through books and maybe television...
The letter continues with a personal story of when the zoo's director visited Costa Rica and saw a real, live quetzal.
So now my Mabes understands that she'll never see a quetzal at our zoo and I'm as thrilled as a mama can be that a busy executive took the time to affirm my daughter's love for animals and explained away her disappointment as only a zookeeper can. Of course, now I have to figure out a way to get Mabry to Costa Rica...