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Zoo News

Zoo News

Wild Encounters at the Dallas Zoo
Apr 1, 2013

Increasing opportunities for greater interaction between animals and guests, the Dallas Zoo is introducing the Wild Encounters Stage at the Ndebele Plaza in the Wilds of Africa, which opens April 5. Educational interpreters will be available at the stage throughout the day, seven days a week, with a variety of animals to provide close-up encounters, answer questions, and help educate Dallas Zoo guests about wildlife.

“It’s a creative and safe way for our guests to meet some amazing animal ambassadors and learn what makes them so unique,” said Sean Greene, vice president of guest experiences for Dallas Zoo Management Inc. “Our interpretive staff will be on hand to answer questions, share stories, and talk with guests about why conservation is such a high priority for the Dallas Zoo”.

Guests may meet new animals in the Animal Adventures Outreach program, such as Abeni, a young African serval cat that can leap nearly 10 feet up in the air. This great jumping ability and excellent hearing enables the serval to hunt prey in tall savanna grasses. Servals have the distinction of both spots and stripes on their tan colored coats.

In addition to the serval, guests also may meet a new African-crested porcupine. Chimalsi is less than a year old but looks much like a full-grown African porcupine. Sharp, barbed quills can reach more than a foot in length, and can be flared outward to help fend off predators, such as leopards, lions, and sometimes servals.

“Many people think that porcupines can throw their quills,” Greene said. “That’s a myth, and the kind of interesting information our staff will share with guests when they come to meet our animal ambassadors.”