Houston Zoo has announced the opening of its latest expansion project, looking to pair South American animals with their natural environment, according to a Sept. 16 news release from the zoo.
South America’s Pantanal, a 4.2-acre multi-species habitat, will open to the public Oct. 10.
Giant river otters will be featured in the habitat for the first time at Houston Zoo, according to the release. Visitors will also be given the chance to view jaguars, capybaras, dart frogs, howler monkeys, anaconda, macaws and more.
The habitat mirrors South America’s Pantanal region, a mix of forest, rivers, marshes, and grassland researched by the zoo’s technical support staff.
The habitat will also feature a sheltered seating area that will serve as a venue for animal showcases, in addition to two aviaries representing wetland and savanna habitats.
To make the habitat a reality, Houston Zoo partnered with four wildlife conservation organizations: Lowland Tapir Conservation, Projeto Tatu-Canastra (Giant Armadillo Project), Bandeira Rodovias (Anteaters and Highways) and Projeto Ariranha (Giant Otter Project). The projects focus on research and monitoring, community development, threat reduction and capacity building to educate all local Brazilians in the surrounding regions.
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