Lincoln Park Zoo Presents Wine & Wildlife: Puerto Rican Plumage

Chicago, 2012-10-24 — / — Known locally as the iguaca (ee-gwa-kuh) and easily recognized by its striking jade plumage, the Puerto Rican parrot is one of the most visually stunning tropical birds. It is also one of the top ten most endangered avian species in the world and one that Lincoln Park Zoo is working to save from extinction.

Join the zoo for an exclusive evening of Puerto Rican nibbles, island-inspired music, and raised glasses in honor of a truly rare bird at Wine & Wildlife: Puerto Rican Plumage on Wednesday, November 7 from 6 – 8 p.m.

Zoo population experts and Jafet Velez-Valentin, director of Puerto Rico’s Luquillo Aviary, will share how the number of iguacas soared to around 400 from only 13 wild birds. Hear how conservation teams worked to create a breeding program using eggs and chicks collected from the wild, facing numerous challenges along the way.

Velez-Valentin will tell of the aviary’s transformation from a small operation to a sprawling, multi-room complex that aids in everything from breeding to preparation for life in the wild. Puerto Rico-based scientists keep in close contact with Chicago-based Lincoln Park Zoo staff through real-time population updates. The result is a detailed and proven method of pairing, breeding, and setting iguacas up for success in their natural habitat.

Wine & Wildlife: Puerto Rican Parrots is an adults-only evening for ages 18 and up. Guests will enjoy after-hours access to the zoo, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and themed entertainment. Tickets are $30 per person ($26 for Lincoln Park Zoo members) and include one complimentary drink ticket and access to a cash bar.

For more information, visit or call 312-742-2056.

Media Contacts:

Sharon Dewar
(312) 927-5344

Tiffany Ruddle
(312) 742-5791


Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo, a historic landmark founded in 1868, is dedicated to connecting people with nature by providing a free, family-oriented wildlife experience. A leader in conservation science both globally and locally, the zoo exemplifies the highest quality animal care and educational outreach. The not-for-profit zoo, managed by The Lincoln Park Zoological Society, is a member-supported organization and one of the nation’s only free, privately managed zoos. For more information, call 312 -742-2000 or visit