City of Joburg

Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo


Johannesburg Zoo

 

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Visit the Zoo to meet some new additions to the family in the amazing Animals of the Amazon exhibit.

VISITORS to the Johannesburg Zoo can look forward to a brand-new exhibit, Animals of the Amazon, which opened on 25 April.

Housing colourful and unusual animals from South and Central America the exhibit has been built to resemble ancient Mayan architecture and is sure to provide hours of entertainment for visitors wanting to learn more about the fauna of the Americas. The exhibit will house animals native to Central and South America, focussing mainly on reptiles, invertebrates, amphibians and fish; with two mammal species, including primates.

Who were the Mayans?

The Mayans were an ancient Central and South American civilisation, famous for their advances in science. The civilisation prized scientific thought, and was obsessed with marking time and recording current events. The Mayan calendar is a scientific feat and incorporates the study of astronomy with timekeeping. A fairly peace-loving people, Mayans endure to today and still live in South and Central America, though their ancient way of life has long ceased to exist.

The Animals of the Amazon Exhibit

The breath-taking Amazon animals tour commences with colourful and captivating snakes; think gigantic yellow anacondas, Amazon tree boa constrictors, Honduran milk snakes, and Columbian rainbow boas, The snake house is followed by an aquarium, where grinning Pacu, with strangely human-looking teeth, and other freshwater fish species swim lazily.

This leads into the arachnid section housing such spidery creepy crawlies as the curly-hair tarantula and the Costa Rican tiger rump spider.

If visitors tire of the spiders, lizards will welcome them in the next section; expect to see the green iguana and the Jesus Christ lizard, so named because it can run on water.

Amphibian fans will be keen to meet the poison dart, black and green, and blue dart frogs, while mammal lovers can ooh and aah over the Seba short-tailed bat, or the imperious Emperor Tamarin monkeys.

Endangered Amazon Species

Many of the species in the Animals of the Amazon exhibit are on the World Conservation Union's red data listing, which estimates how close to extinction species are. Some of the species in the exhibit are threatened, as climate change, irresponsible farming, and logging affect the health of their natural habitats.

According to Councillor Chris Vondo, Member of the Mayoral Committee responsible for Community Development in the City of Joburg, the Animals of the Amazon exhibit will also "afford tertiary medical institutions the opportunity to study the exotic animal-species and will provide residents, many of whom will probably never get the opportunity to see these species in the natural habitat, the once-in-a-lifetime experience to view these amazing exhibits".

Students, animal enthusiasts and wannabee-Amazon explorers should not miss the opportunity to visit the Zoo when the Animals of the Amazon exhibit opens.