New Exhibits


Spider Monkey Exhibit Set to Open April 6

Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the opening of a new spider monkey exhibit, graciously funded by Dottie Frist, on Thursday, April 6. The addition of Mexican spider monkeys will mark the first monkey species to be housed at Nashville Zoo in more than four years.

Exhibit details

To enter the new exhibit, Zoo guests will cross an elevated wooden bridge ending in a treetop view of these lively, inquisitive Mexican spider monkeys swinging among the trees. Half siblings, Sandy and Poppy, came to Nashville from Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, FL. The Zoo plans to add two more females to the group in the near future. A covered viewing building will feature materials from around the world including Peruvian textiles and decorative masks hand-selected by Schwartz. Bamboo imported from Vietnam and Colombia and environmentally sustainable materials like reclaimed pallet wood and synthetic thatch will complement the exhibit’s Central American theme.

Species information

Mexican spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi vellerosus) are critically endangered in Central America’s rainforest due to habitat loss and destruction. Nashville Zoo will participate in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for this species to increase the captive population.

Spider monkeys are adapted for an arboreal lifestyle swinging through the trees with a hand over hand motion called semi-brachiation. Their long prehensile tail can support their entire weight and is often used as a third arm for movement. Spider monkeys lack visible thumbs which allows for greater ease while moving through the branches.

Aerial rendering of the spider monkey exhibit shows the viewing building, holding area, entry/exit bridges, and outdoor habitat.
Recent construction photos from early February 2017.

Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear will open this summer!

Once complete, “Expedition Peru: Trek of the Andean Bear” will feature multiple species, ensuring this as one of the most popular destinations within the park.

Visitors will get an unobstructed view of the bears’ hillside habitat from inside a Peruvian lodge. The lodge will contain interactive educational displays and feature a 16-ft. aquarium with fresh water stingrays and other aquatic species that inhabit the Peruvian Amazon Basin.

Upon exiting the lodge, guests will encounter the world’s smallest deer, the pudu, sharing its habitat with an unusual rodent called a viscacha. An additional habitat will feature a group of over twenty guinea pigs and will highlight the importance of these domesticated animals to Peruvian culture.

Three Sumatran tiger sisters will be moving to Nashville later in 2017.

Originally built in 1989 as a black bear exhibit, the Zoo’s tiger exhibit was in great need of renovation. The new exhibit will be home to three female Sumatran tigers.

Improvements to the exhibit will enlarge the tigers’ habitat and night quarters, as well as add a new indoor viewing area for guests. The viewing building will feature reinforced glass panels for the closest possible view of these majestic cats, a training panel so guests can interact with keeper staff, and interactive displays to engage and educate visitors about tiger conservation.

In addition, the outdoor bridge viewing area will be renovated to visually mirror the Asian architectural components featured on the new viewing building.

White Rhinoceros will soon occupy the former Elephant habitat.

The former African Elephant Savannah will soon become home to four female captive-born rhinos from South Africa.

The outdoor exhibit yard needed several alterations to insure a comfortable environment for the incoming rhino herd, including modifying the existing pool.

The former elephant barn also needed to be remodeled to accommodate the rhinos, including replacing the floors and additional work to the outdoor holding area attached to the barn.