Zoo Snapshot: Cotton-top Tamarin

Cotton-top Tamarin Saguinus oedipus Critically Endangered: Wild population estimated to be 2,000 Body length: Up to 1.8 feet head to tail. Habitat: Tropical dry forests. At the El Paso Zoo: Inside the South American Pavilion. The El Paso Zoo supports Proyeto Titi to help conserve this species in the wild. Both males and siblings help…

Zoo Snapshot: Red-crested Cardinal

Red-crested Cardinal Paroaria coronata Least Concern: stable population in the wild. Body Length: 7.5 inches long Habitat: Semi-open forests and savannas native to Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. They have also been introduced in the United States. At the El Paso Zoo: America’s Aviary Red-crested Cardinals are monogamous and will form mating pairs for…

Rio Bosque Wetlands Park – a great place to connect with nature

The holidays are upon us and many are stressed by everything associated by the pandemic and more.   If you need to get outside for your own sanity check out area nature preserves and state parks.   If you do head out remember that COVID-19 safety guidelines continue to apply.  Masks are required and group size is…

Zoo Snapshot: Inca Tern

Inca Tern Larosterna inca Near Threatened:  Numbers decreasing. Size: 15 and 16.5 inches in length Habitat: Coastal areas on islands and rocky cliffs. At the El Paso Zoo: Inside the Americas Aviary.  Inca Terns are from Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.  In the America’s Aviary at the Zoo they are very active and easy to see…

Join us Saturday for International Jaguar Day

This Saturday on November 28 the El Paso Zoo will celebrate International Jaguar Day at 11:00 am Mountain Time on Zoom.   The jaguar is the third largest big cat species in the world and like so many animals living at the Zoo has a long history in North America going back to the Pleistocene which…

Zoo Snapshot: Prehensile-tailed Porcupine

Prehensile-tailed Porcupine Coendou prehensilis Least Concern, stable population in the wild. Body length: head to tail: 2-3 feet. Habitat: Tropical forests of Central America and northern South America. At the El Paso Zoo: Inside the South American Pavilion Currently we have pair of 8-year-old porcupines named Flower and Vito.  In the wild they are rarely seen…

A ribbiting story of recovery: Chiricahua leopard frogs on the mend

By Maddy Marsh, Arizona Game and Fish Department During the monsoon season in the sky islands of southeastern Arizona, if you listen closely, you may hear the very distinctive “snore” of the Chiricahua leopard frog (Rana chiricahuensis). Endemic to mountainous regions of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts in eastern Arizona, western New Mexico, and northern…

Video Portrait: A morning at the El Paso Zoo

The Zoo is certainly a very interesting place these days now that we have been closed for a little over eight months. I doubt that many of our animals have ever experienced anything like this before with their only daily contact being with their keepers. Some keepers say that our animals miss all the attention…

Zoo Snapshot: Southern Tamandua

Southern Tamandua Tamandua tetradactyla Least Concern Size: Head to tail 43-47 inches in length with a 59-70 inch wingspan. Habitat:  Forests adjacent to savannas, lowland and montane moist tropical rain forest as well as mangroves. At the El Paso Zoo: Inside the South American Pavilion.  The tamandua is a species of anteater from South America.  …

What Chihuahuan Desert stories need to be told?

Joining forces to conserve Chihuahuan Desert wildlife The El Paso Zoo is growing into an epicenter for conservation in the Chihuahuan Desert.   No institution, government or private, has a comprehensive exhibit dedicated to conservation and education of this conservation hotspot. With the support of a staff of dedicated professionals the Zoo is rescuing raptors like…

Zoo Snapshot – Giraffe

Reticulated giraffeGiraffa camelopardalis Vulnerable:  68,293, decreasing (IUCN, 2016)Giraffes are the world’s tallest land mammal averaging between 14 to 19 feet. Habitat: Savanna and woodland areas of Africa. Some herds have adapted to desert environments. At the El Paso Zoo: Across from the Kalahari Research Station in Africa  Long necks and legs make up the majority…

Meet the Loggerhead Shrike, an honorary Chihuahuan Desert raptor

By Erin Strasser, International Biologist, Bird Conservancy of the Rockies With a hooked beak and predatory habits, the Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) has acquired some ferocious nicknames: The Butcher Bird or, in Spanish, El Verdugo (The Executioner). Although a songbird, they are unique in that they capture and impale small prey items such as insects,…

Juno recovering after a successful removal of mass

The El Paso Zoo’s 54-year old female Asian elephant, Juno, is recovering well after removal of a malignant mass in her right mammary gland, commonly known as breast cancer.   Veterinarian staff performed the surgery today, Saturday, November 14, at the El Paso Zoo.   “Thanks to a great effort by our internal team, her…

Juno is receiving additional medical treatment

One of the El Paso Zoo’s Asian elephants, Juno, will undergo her seventh cancer treatment this week. In October 2016, Juno was diagnosed with a malignant mass in her right mammary gland, commonly known as breast cancer. This is the only currently known case of breast cancer in an elephant; elephants are generally not diagnosed…

Don’t miss Crane Fiesta 2020

Crane Fiesta 2020 Many people in our part of the world look forward to the annual Festival of the Cranes sponsored by Friends of the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge three hours north of El Paso. This year in an abundance of caution because of Covid-19 the friends group is sponsoring a Crane Fiesta…

The Fandango Owl

The Zoo Education Animal Collection has a new Great Horned Owl.  Archimedes is about two years old and was rescued before it was determined that it was not healthy enough from its injuries to return to the wild.  Great Horned Owls are important apex predators and are very common in many areas of the country.  …

Some say they are creepy, others say they are wonderful

Everyone of us living on the planet needs biodiversity and ecosystem services to function. Biodiversity provides the world’s supply of oxygen, clean air and water, pollination of plants, pest control, wastewater treatment and many other ecosystem services. As a result we need to be informed and inspired to protect wild places and biodiversity. Our animals…

Botanical Garden Snapshot – Mexican Pinyon Pine

Pinyon PinePinus edulisCommon tree in lower elevation woodland areas. Some plants can grow up to 70 feet tall, most average 30-40 feet. Habitat: Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands above 5,000 feet in elevation. At the El Paso Zoo: Along the pathway in the Chihuahuan Desert Exhibit.  Mexican pinyon pines are able to survive in much drier climates than…

On your next visit to the Zoo imagine a lost world: the Pleistocene

Not far from El Paso scientists have found the fossilized remains of Stockoceros, an extinct species of antelope related to the pronghorn living at the Zoo today.  They have also found fossils of a predator called Miracinonyx, the American cheetah.  More than likely pronghorn developed the ability to run up to 40-60 mph to avoid…

Protection of gray wolves is being returned to States and Tribes

With the exception of the Mexican wolf, wildlife management agency professionals will resume responsibility for sustainable management and protection of delisted gray wolves. More than 45 years after gray wolves were first listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Secretary of the Interior announced last month that due to the successful recovery of the…