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There's Always Something New at the Nashville Zoo

by Rich and Laura Lynch

It's true! There's always something new happening at the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere. Just in case we happened to forget that biological fact we were happily reminded of it during a mid-May visit to the facility. Everywhere we turned we were confronted with Zoo-Borns >>> that is the mostly cute and cuddly new additions that drew a lot of oohs and ahhs from the large crowd of schools kids and their chaperones who were out and about on their end of the year field trips.

We spotted these Zoo-Borns on our mid-May visit to the Nashville Zoo.

Sensing that there would soon be an avalanche of humanity bearing down on the exhibits we headed to the front of the line and were first in the door. We quickly made our way to the kangaroo exhibit where the buzz was all about the mothers and their joeys who were just beginning to make their first excursions from the maternal pouch. Sure enough, our patience was rewarded with a few pictures of the newest Nashvillain with Australian heritage.

But, there were even more babies to be seen. We also saw a young money in its mother's arms and a juvenile rhinoceros. But, it was only by trekking over to the Zoo's expansive HCA Healthcare Veterinary Center that we got a glimpse of two Nashville stars in the making in the form of a male spotted fanaloka who made headlines around the world as the first fanaloka to be born at a U.S. zoo in over 50 years. In other cute news, a female king vulture chick hatched May 9 to a pair of king vultures living behind the scenes. This is also the first-ever king vulture to hatch at the Zoo!

Both the fanaloka pup and king vulture chick will be joining the Zoo's ambassador animal program where they'll play an important role in educating the public about their species. Until then, you can see both animals in the windows of the veterinary center.

On the brick and mortar front, visitors to the Nashville Zoo will very soon be able to keep up with the Komodos in an exciting, brand new habitat that will be located beside the pathway that leads to the Veterinary Center. When completed, this exhibit will be one of the largest Komodo dragon habitats in the Americas. The habitat will feature an indoor and large outdoor viewing area so the dragons can be seen year-round despite chilly temperatures. The outdoor yard will be the largest nationwide and will allow guests to see these giant lizards run for their treats during keeper talks.

An artist rendering of the coming Komodo dragon habit. (Courtesy of the Nashville Zoo)

Related Links: For more information on the NASHVILLE ZOO and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Nashville Zoo at Grassmere | A Night of Enchantment at the Nashville Zoo


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