An indoor bird show featuring singing parrots and swooping raptors will entertain and educate Kansas City Zoo visitors this summer.
A presentation of exotic birds that have been trained to display natural and unusual behaviors will be staged daily inside the zoo’s former IMAX theater, which offers a high ceiling and 400 comfortable seats.
“It’s a tremendous show by one of the best animal trainers in the world,” said Zoo Director Randy Wisthoff.
The Friends of the Zoo board on Wednesday approved a $185,000 contract to bring the show to Kansas City from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.
The show will be free with zoo admission and will be staged twice a day during the week and three times a day on weekends.
A preview video screened for board members included a parrot singing Yankee Doodle Dandy, large birds of prey and audience participation with strutting land birds.
Natural Encounters was originated by trainer Steve Martin, formerly of the San Diego Wild Animal Park, and has been featured at zoos across the country.
The bird show will be the zoo’s special summer attraction, along with a new exhibit for the zoo’s two Sumatran tigers that will be five times larger than their old one and more naturalistic. It is expected to open in late spring.