A tropical rainforest area is scheduled to open at the Taipei Zoo before the Lunar New Year in February, zoo spokesman Eric Tsao (曹先紹) said on Saturday.
The new area is to be at the former site of the nocturnal house, which was constructed in 1986 and demolished in 2012 due to structural damage, water leakage and decay, Tsao said.
Construction on the NT$400 million (US$12.98 million) area began in 2013 and was originally scheduled to be complete by 2015, but changes to the design delayed the process, he said.
Photo courtesy of Taipei Zoo
The tropical rainforest area includes indoor and outdoor exhibits, and spans 15,000m2, he said, adding that the indoor exhibits are to be housed in a pangolin-shaped building.
The building, which is near the Giant Panda House, is equipped with photovoltaic and rainwater recycling systems, he said.
It is expected to display 27 protected species, with enclosures for giant anteaters, spider monkeys, slow lorises, macaws, jaguars, capybaras, poison dart frogs and siamangs, Tsao said.
A giant anteater, which arrived from the Singapore Zoo in August, would be a highlight of the area, he said.
Giant anteaters are the largest of the four anteater species, he said.
Four capybaras that are to be displayed were borrowed from the Wanpi World Safari Zoo in Tainan and would be moved from the zoo’s conservation center to the new site after construction is finished, he said.
Animals that are to be housed in the new facilities are adapting to the new environment and are in quarantine, Tsao said.
Taiwan’s climate is suitable for raising tropical and subtropical animals, he said.
Animals from temperate climates are not easy to look after, which is why the zoo converted the nocturnal house into a tropical rainforest area, he said, adding that the new facilities alongside the Asian Tropical Rainforest Area would give the zoo a more complete display of the world’s tropical animals.
To accommodate an expected increase in foot traffic, crowd control would be implemented in the new area, as is the case for the Giant Panda House, Tsao said.
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