New at the Zoo
There’s always something new and exciting happening at the Fort Worth Zoo! Take a look at what’s going on at the Zoo right now.
Creature Features are happening daily through Oct. 29. Click here for more details.
Two female red kangaroos joined the Zoo’s “mob” (a group of kangaroos) this fall, bringing the total collection to four. Nina and Claire moved here from the Dallas Zoo in October and can be spotted exploring their exhibit in the Australian Outback.
The largest of all kangaroos, the red kangaroo can stand as much as 6 feet tall and has the ability to leap 30 feet or more when moving at increased speeds. As a marsupial, the kangaroo is known for the female’s ability to carry its young in a pouch on its abdomen. The joey (a baby kangaroo) is naturally born underdeveloped, but climbs from the birth canal into the pouch where it remains until it is able to permanently leave the pouch 235 days later. The female kangaroo has the unique ability to have a joey out of the pouch, a second joey in the pouch and another in utero all at the same time.
The Fort Worth Zoo received a very special (and rare) Valentine this February with the arrival of a baby male bonobo. This is the third bonobo born in Texas, all three having been at the Fort Worth Zoo. The newborn follows Makolo’s birth in 2013 and Layla’s in 2010.
Just like in the wild, the baby bonobo is completely dependent on its mother for locomotion and nourishment. Visitors can sneak a peek of the new baby, clinging tightly to its mother, in the World of Primates exhibit.
The bonobo is one of the four great ape species. It was long thought to be a smaller version of the chimpanzee, but is, in fact, its own species, and has distinguishing features such as reddish lips, centrally parted hair and a bipedal, or upright, walk. This ape is found exclusively in the rainforests of the Democratic Republic of Congo and is considered endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), due to habitat alteration and illegal hunting.
The Zoo added a new bird species to its collection with the arrival of two female Abdim’s storks. This wading bird is native to Sub-Saharan Africa and is covered in glossy black feathers and can be identified by its bare, light blue face and pinkish-red legs. Guests can see the Abdim’s storks in their exhibit with the hamerkops, yellow-bellied storks and the Madagascar crested ibis, near the picnic benches behind Zoo Creek Cafe.
Heloderma horridum exasperatum
For the first time in 14 years, the Fort Worth Zoo is celebrating a successful beaded lizard breeding. The beaded lizard is native to Mexico and Guatemala and is one of only two venomous lizard species. Unlike snakes, the beaded lizard lacks fangs for injecting venom and instead has to “chew” toxins into its prey. The venom glands in this reptile are in its lower jaw, and ducts lead to each of the lizard’s lower teeth. As its name implies, this lizard has small, bead-like scales that create its bumpy skin. This large lizard can grow to be 3.25 feet long and has a thick, fleshy tail used to store fat, which can be readily metabolized when food sources are scarce. The new beaded lizard is currently housed in the Museum of Living Art (MOLA)
nursery, located in the Discovery Hub, and will move to its designated exhibit soon.
Python molurus bivittatus
At 71 pounds and 13.5 feet long, the Burmese python is the Zoo’s newest and biggest snake, recently arriving from Potter Park Zoo in Michigan. The Burmese python is one of the largest snake species in the world, and although it’s a nonvenomous species, it is a constrictor, known for looping its body tightly around prey and suffocating it before devouring it head first. The python can eat prey much larger than itself, and can go without food for weeks or even months after eating a large meal. Its muscles are used for more than feeding; the female keeps her clutch of eggs warm by wrapping her body around the eggs and continually contracting her muscles to produce a vibration, similar to shivering. You can see the new
Burmese python in its exhibit inside the Museum of Living Art (MOLA).
Dilly, a reticulated giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) born this January, is the tallest baby at the Fort Worth Zoo, standing 5 feet, 7 inches tall and weighing 132 pounds at birth. The female giraffe gives birth while standing up, so when a giraffe calf is born, it enters the world by falling a distance of up to 5 feet. Dilly was up and walking and nursing within minutes of being born. Her birth brings the herd to seven and marks a third generation of giraffes currently at the Zoo.
The giraffe is the tallest of all living land animals. Its legs alone are often taller than most humans. The average height of a mature adult giraffe ranges from 15 to almost 20 feet, with males being taller than females. The giraffe is an herbivore and feeds mainly by browsing on trees but will also eat a variety of fruit, seed pods and flowers. Thanks to its long neck, the giraffe can reach leaves, flowers and fruit in tall trees that are inaccessible to many other animals. At the Fort Worth Zoo, the giraffe herd feeds on Acacia browse, alfalfa hay, herbivore pellets, apples and carrots. Dilly has been nursing and will continue until she is around 6 months old (or as long as mother Corrie will allow); solid foods will be introduced to her at 3 or 4 months of age.
The definition of dilly is “something that is remarkable, outstanding or unusual,” with a beautiful heart-shaped spot on her neck, she is well-described by all three words. On your next visit to the Zoo, be sure to visit Dilly and the rest of the herd in their exhibit in the African Savannah. Dilly is just across the path from the Zoo’s other big babies, Belle and Bowie, our Asian elephants.
Would you like to adopt Dilly? Learn more here.
Photo Gallery — Dilly
Junior Train Conductor Experience
Become a junior train conductor and ride the rails on the Yellow Rose Express Train at the Fort Worth Zoo. Participants will work alongside the Yellow Rose Express staff collecting tickets and greeting guests, clearing the train to leave the depot and ringing the bell at crossings. Participants will also receive an official certificate, train hat and safety vest and enjoy reserved seating.
- $60 includes two one-way train rides that begin at the Safari depot for the junior conductor and up to three additional riders. (Zoo admission tickets are not included.)
- Payment is required when reservation is made at Guest Relations and is nonrefundable. Subject to availability.
- The junior train conductor must be 5 to 12 years old and accompanied by an adult. No unescorted youth will be allowed.
- The junior train conductor experience is offered daily at 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., excluding the month of January 2015 and March 7 to 15, 2015. Book your Junior Conductor Experience through the Guest Relations office. Call 817-759-7337 for more details.
- In the event of inclement weather or a mechanical issue that prevents the train from operating, your Junior Conductor Experience will be rescheduled.