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Reid Park Zoo Expansion

The first thing you’ll notice when you enter the Reid Park Zoo is the new Flamingo Lagoon. It’s the most recently completed habitat of the Reid Park Zoo expansion, and it’s right up front next to the carousel. There you’ll find a lovely “flamboyance” of Chilean Flamingos, numbering around 27. Something always seems to be going on with this group. You’ll see them dunking their heads in the water, flapping their wings, standing perfectly still on one leg and dozing, preening, stiffly walking through the pools or on the grass, and even sometimes marching with great precision in mini-troops.

They…


Imagine checking out at the grocery store, and as you politely socially distance from the customer in front of you, your eyes land upon a new tabloid. It’s a special edition, The Aldabra Enquirer! The shocking headlines include, “ Both Males AND Females promiscuous, expert says!”” Truth revealed — Esmeralda is actually a MALE!” “ I ran for my life when I saw them NOSING!” “ Heartless parenting, scientists declare” “ It must have weighed 600 pounds, and it was coming right for me!” and finally, “ Vacation in the Seychelles? Think again…what about the Aldabra CREEP?

Like most…


Or maybe it’s white on black. But why have those stripes anyway?

The zebra: A kind of “horse,” yes, but a horse of a very different stripe!

Zebras are hooved mammals, members of the greater equine family that also includes horses and donkeys. They resemble horses, but they are stockier, closer to donkeys. And of course, unlike horses or donkeys, zebras are covered with those dazzling black and white stripes.

Three different species

The three species of zebras — Grevy’s zebras, plains zebras, and mountain zebras — differ in size and coloration. Grevy’s, the kind at the Reid Park Zoo, are the largest…


Monsoon Diversions: A Primate Primer

As the heat and monsoon rains of the desert southwest force us indoors, I thought it might be a good time to dust off that old black and white Composition notebook (you know the one) and reminisce about your early school days. I’d like you to revisit Biology class, when you were first introduced to some of the longest lists in the world, those of the animal, vegetable, and mineral variety. To keep it manageable, let’s just focus on the animals and one Order in particular, the Primates.

A master list maker classifies…everything on the planet

Classifying animals has never been an easy task. Carl Linnaeus didn’t attempt…


Wings of Wonder Aviary

The Wings of Wonder Aviary in the Reid Park Zoo expansion has big plans — plans to bring us an array of interesting and beautiful birds in all sizes, in shady, tree-filled habitats with opportunities to just sit, meander, de-stress, and observe, or if you’re in the mood, to feed some of the species!

Sit Back or Interact!

There are far too many species slated to elaborate on here, but let’s start with a list of birds that are in the plans at present. …


A Green Tree Python! These arboreal snakes are born yellow or brick-red and turn bright green as they mature. Their vivid color, with a pattern of spots and stripes, provides a perfect camouflage. They can be virtually invisible in the tropical rainforests of New Guinea, eastern Indonesia and the northeast Cape York Peninsula of Australia. They have a prehensile tail (capable of grasping) that helps them climb trees and also plays a devilishly clever role in hunting.

They rest coiled horizontally on tree limbs forming a ‘ saddle’ pose with their head resting in the middle, which is also a…


Visiting the Zoo: Connecting with Conservation
Visiting the Zoo: Connecting with Conservation

If you’re somebody who likes to visit the Reid Park Zoo, or other reputable zoos and aquariums, chances are you are a little bit more concerned about environmental matters than the average person. That’s great — but why is it happening? Psychologists point out that those positive memories you’re getting by watching the animals in a beautiful environment may be a result of a few things: the experience of seeing a baby elephant imitating her big sister, a pack of wild dogs joyfully running around and jostling one another, or even a rhino enjoying a mud bath can be quite…


The Marvelous Ostrich

What makes Ostriches so fascinating? Is it because they’re the largest birds on earth? Is it because they seem so fearless? Is it because humans, since the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, and Babylonians have used ostrich feathers to adorn themselves?

Impressive Statistics (lots)

Ostriches really are huge, growing up to 8 feet tall and weighing up to 290 pounds! In fact, it seems everything about Ostriches is oversized — their feet (with only two toes, but with one huge talon on each foot), their eyes — 2 inches in diameter, and their nests, which can accommodate up to 60 jumbo eggs. …


What’s that noise?

On any bright morning in Tucson, the moment you step out of your car in the parking lot of the Reid Park Zoo, you might hear soft, repetitive one-note sounds, whoop, whoop, whoop, that build to a crescendo of long, sustained trills, whooOOoo, whooOOoo. You’ve just heard the morning territorial song of one of the oldest and most interesting residents at Reid Park Zoo: Billy, a 48-year-old male Lar Gibbon.

You may recall the lineup of Primates from your school days: Lemurs, Lorises, Tarsiers, Monkeys, and Apes (which includes humans). …


Animal Spotlight: Muntjac Deer
Animal Spotlight: Muntjac Deer

The Pathways to Asia is going to have at least one cuteness overload habitat! The Red Pandas and the Muntjac Deer will be congenially sharing a lushly planted and climate controlled environment. The Red Pandas spend most of their time in the trees, though, and the Muntjac Deer will be on the ground hiding, barking, and foraging for browse, soft wood and fallen fruit. However, they may sometimes dine together — both species love bamboo shoots! …

Reid Park Zoo Expansion

Advocating for the Reid Park Zoo expansion. Not affiliated with Reid Park Zoo, The Reid Park Zoological Society, or The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation.

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