Upcoming Events

  • Great Backyard Bird Count

    Feb 6th, 2016
    11:00am - 1:00pm

    Nashville Zoo will be hosting a program on Feb. 6 from 11am-1pm in the Gallery of the Croft Center for those interested in learning more about the Great Backyard Bird Count. The program will share the importance of the Backyard Bird Count, how you can participate, and teach the basic skills for successful bird counting.

    Spend some time along the Zoo trails practicing bird counting, learn about the Zoo’s global bird conservation projects, and listen to a presentation from Polly Rooker, wildlife biologist with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Participation in the program is included with zoo admission.


    The Great Backyard Bird Count is a citizen science project where people from around the world count birds for 15 minutes a day from February 12-15. You can count from any location, anywhere in the world! This data is submitted online to researchers who use it to assist in tracking bird migrations and getting population counts of different species. Learn more about how to join the fun.

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  • Ring Tailed Lemur Keeper Talk

    Feb 6th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Bamboo Trail
    Ring-tailed lemurs live in southern areas of Madagascar in social groups of up to 25 members. These are mixed groups with males and females. Female ring-tailed lemurs are always dominant over males and there is one dominant female in each group. When the group travels together they will raise their long ringed tails to act as flags to locate other members of the group.  They will mark their territory by rubbing their scent glands on trees.  Breeding usually takes place between April-June with babies being born August-September.  Females will usually have 1-2 offspring. You can see our ring-tailed lemurs along the Bamboo Trail.
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 6th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Farm Keeper Talk

    Feb 6th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:45pm

    Many different animals have lived at Grassmere since the house was built in 1810. Many of the animals that you will see at the Grassmere Historic Farm are “heritage breeds,” traditional livestock breeds raised by farmers of the past but whose numbers have since fallen.

    Cattle grazed over much of the land that is now Nashville Zoo and at the Grassmere Historic Farm you can see Belted Galloway cattle which originally came from Scotland. They are known for high quality meat and milk while consuming less feed. 

    Sheep were raised at Grassmere during the 1860’s and 1920s-1930s. On the farm you can currently see Cotswold Sheep which originated in England. These sheep produce “long wool” which is popular with wool spinners. 

    You can also see American Milking Devon cattle which are used for meat, milk, or farm work; barn owls; and a Clydesdale whose feet are the size of your dinner plate! 

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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    Feb 6th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Baird’s tapirs are one of five species of tapirs. Four species live in Central and South America and one species lives in Asia. The upper lip of the tapir forms a proboscis similar to an elephant’s trunk.  This is used to help them collect their food as they browse. Tapirs are born brown with white stripes and spots to help with camouflage and turn solid brown with age. 
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Feb 6th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Zooperbowl: Half-Price Admission

    Feb 7th, 2016
    9:00am - 4:00pm

    Head to Nashville Zoo before the Super Bowl and enjoy half price admission during the annual Zooperbowl promotion. On this special day set for Sunday, Feb. 7, admission is $7.50 for adults, $5 for kids ages 2-12, and $6.50 for seniors ages 65 or older. As always, Zoo members and children under two will be admitted free.

    With less crowds and active animals, winter is a wonderful time to explore the Zoo. Many of the Zoo’s animal collection have acclimated to Nashville’s climate, and some species are often more active during cooler months. During Zooperbowl, animals normally seen during this time of year will be on exhibit as well as animals in the indoor Unseen New World. Weather permitting, visitors can enjoy rides on the Wild Animal Carousel and Wilderness Express Train. The Zoo’s café and Jungle Gym playground will also be open.

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  • Seahorse Keeper Talk

    Feb 7th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World
    The seahorse is one of the most unique looking fish found in the ocean. It has a prehensile tail used to hold on to sea grass and coral. Seahorses have a voracious appetite and will eat for up to 10 hours a day; consuming more than 3,000 crustaceans during that time. Seahorses are monogamous, and will usually have one mate during their lifetime. During a mating dance the female will pass eggs to the male. He will then hold the fertilized eggs in his pouch until they emerge about 20 days later as miniature versions of an adult. Juvenile seahorses will reach maturity in 8-10 months. Seahorses are at risk due to overfishing and habitat degradation. 
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 7th, 2016
    10:30am - 10:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Meerkat Keeper Talk

    Feb 7th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Zoo Central
    Meerkats are small mammals related to the mongoose. They live in underground burrows with up to 40 meerkats in groups called mobs. This large social group is key to the meerkats survival. You will see at least one individual on “sentry duty” looking out for predators while others will spend time grooming and playing together to maintain their tight bond. Meerkats are made for digging and can excavate huge burrow systems with many different rooms that provide protection from predators. These burrows can have 15 entrances and they stay a constant cool temperature even in the hot African sun. Be on the lookout for our meerkats near Zoo Central.
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  • Red River Hog Keeper Talk

    Feb 7th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    African Savannah
    Red river hogs are very social animals who will live in groups of up to 20. Groups are usually made up of 1 adult male, several females, and their piglets. They are mostly active once the sun sets where they will use their shovel like snouts to dig up roots or bulbs to eat, though red river hogs will eat most anything they find. Female hogs will give birth to about 1-4 piglets. Male offspring are forced out of their group at about one year of age. Male red river hogs will fight by butting heads, whipping each other with their tails, and will fluff their facial hair when threatened. You can see our red river hogs on the African Savannah.
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Feb 7th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Dwarf Caiman Keeper Talk

    Feb 8th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Dwarf caiman are the smallest species of crocodile.  They like to live in flooded forests with clean and fast-flowing rivers in South America.  They will be found alone or in pairs.  Breeding can occur throughout the year depending on the habitat and the female will lay 10-25 eggs in a nest that was built.  The sex of the eggs are determined by the temperature of the nest during the incubation period.  The eggs hatch after a 90 day incubation and the young will stay with the mother for several weeks.  Dwarf caiman are mainly nocturnal, spending the day in a burrow while going out at night to hunt.  You can see our dwarf caiman in Unseen New World.        
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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 8th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home and Farm

    Barns owls are the most widespread of any owl species and can be found in any habitat that meets their needs. As with other owls they swallow their prey whole and then cough up pellets which contain all the non-digestible parts of their prey such as bones and fur.

    Barn owls have great eyesight but they are renowned for their ability to hear extremely soft noises. A barn owl hunting in complete darkness can still locate and capture prey using sound alone. Barn owls have been known to nest in hollow trees and artificial nest boxes but earn their name by often taking up residence in old buildings such as abandoned barns and silos. You can see our barn owls at the Croft House barn.

     

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  • White-cheeked Gibbon Keeper Talk

    Feb 8th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Gibbon Islands
    Gibbons are not monkeys, but are considered lesser apes due in part to their lack of a tail and ability to walk bipedally on their back legs. Gibbons move through the trees by a process called brachiation which involves swinging using only their arms. Gibbons live in a family unit of an adult male and female and their offspring. The adult female is the dominant member of the group. White-cheeked gibbons are born blonde to camouflage with their mother and then turn black as juveniles. Females finally turn back to a blonde color at sexual maturity while the males stay black. You can see our gibbons on Gibbon Island near Entry Village. 
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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    Feb 8th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail

    Clouded leopards are the top predators in their range and help control populations of prey species. They are solitary hunters active largely at night. Similar to other leopards they are great climbers and can usually be found in trees which they use to hunt and as resting places. Little is known about their breeding behavior but it is thought that they can mate year round. You can visit our clouded leopards on the Bamboo Trail.

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  • Cassowary Keeper Talk

    Feb 8th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Jungle Loop

    Double-wattled cassowaries are solitary birds that live in some of the oldest rainforests in the world known as the “wet tropics.” They are the second largest birds in the world after the ostrich. They can be distinguished by their helmet-like casque atop their head and red wattles on their neck.

    Cassowaries are important to the diversity of the rainforest. They consume over 78 different species of plants. Their poop helps to germinate new plants by spreading the seeds of the consumed plants. Female cassowaries will lay their eggs and leave the males to do all the incubating and raising of the chicks for up to 9 months. You can see our cassowaries across from Kangaroo Kickabout.

     

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    Feb 9th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Flamingo Lagoon
    Caribbean flamingos are one of 6 species of flamingos which can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. During breeding season they gather in colonies of 5,000 - 100,000 birds. After attracting a partner through an elaborate mating dance a pair of flamingos will begin to build a mud mound on which the female will lay her egg. Both males and females will help incubate the egg and they share responsibilities in caring for the chick.  Flamingos are born gray and do not get their pink feathers until 1-3 years of age. Their diet contains carotenoid pigments which will give them their characteristic pink color. Flamingos are filter feeders and hold their head upside down in shallow water to strain out their food. Flamingos very rarely lay down and even sleep standing up, often only on one leg. You can see our flamingos in Flamingo Lagoon.
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  • Siamang Keeper Talk

    Feb 9th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Commonly mistaken for monkeys, siamangs are actually the largest of the lesser ape species. Like all apes, they lack tails and have the ability to move bipedially on their back legs only. Siamangs spend most of their day in trees moving through a process called brachiation meaning they move from tree to tree using only their arms. Siamangs live in a family group consisting a breeding pair and their offspring. Females will give birth every 2-3 years. Siamangs have an enlarged throat sac which can swell to the size of their head to amplify their vocalizations you can hear throughout the zoo!
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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    Feb 9th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Baird’s tapirs are one of five species of tapirs. Four species live in Central and South America and one species lives in Asia. The upper lip of the tapir forms a proboscis similar to an elephant’s trunk.  This is used to help them collect their food as they browse. Tapirs are born brown with white stripes and spots to help with camouflage and turn solid brown with age. 
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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    Feb 9th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail

    Clouded leopards are the top predators in their range and help control populations of prey species. They are solitary hunters active largely at night. Similar to other leopards they are great climbers and can usually be found in trees which they use to hunt and as resting places. Little is known about their breeding behavior but it is thought that they can mate year round. You can visit our clouded leopards on the Bamboo Trail.

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  • Rhinoceros Hornbill Keeper Talk

    Feb 9th, 2016
    3:00pm - 3:15pm

    The rhinoceros hornbill is one of 54 species of hornbill that exist. The rhinoceros hornbill can be distinguished by its banana-shaped casque on the top of its beak. It is thought that this is used to amplify the sound of its call. It is made out of keratin, just like our fingernails and hair and is very strong and lightweight.

    Rhinoceros hornbills chose a nest high in a tree cavity. With The female inside a breeding pair works together to cover the opening with mud and scat, leaving only a small slit to pass food through. The female stays inside the nest for 3 months incubating and caring for the eggs. You can see our rhinoceros hornbill on Bamboo Trail.

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  • Hellbender Keeper Talk

    Feb 10th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Unseen New World

    The largest salamander in Tennessee, hellbenders can be found in the eastern two thirds of the state. Hellbender populations have gone through dramatic declines across their range over the last 20 years and are now a candidate species for endangered status listing. Hellbenders will spend their entire lives in water. They prefer cold fast moving water with high levels of oxygen due to the fact that 95% of their oxygen is absorbed through their skin. Their tiny eyes can detect light but are not very good at forming images. Hellbenders are solitary nocturnal animals who spend the daytime hiding under rocks. A meeting between two hellbenders will usually result in a fight between them. You can see our hellbenders in Unseen New World.

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  • Red Panda Keeper Talk

    Feb 10th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail
    The red pandas were once thought to be relatives of raccoons and bears but research has now put them in their own animal family Ailuridae. Red pandas are solitary and they rarely interact with another red panda outside of mating season. Breeding season is in the early winter with most births being in June. Similarly to their giant panda relatives red pandas have a wrist bone that acts like a thumb to help them grip bamboo. You can see our red pandas on Bamboo Trail.
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  • River Tank Feeding

    Feb 11th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World

    Some of the largest rivers on Earth travel through tropical rain forests. The Amazon has 1,100 tributaries, carries over 500 billion cubic feet of water per day, and has a mouth that is nearly 300 miles wide. Rivers that size have tremendous diversity within them and along their banks, including insects, reptiles, invertebrates, fish, and mammals.

    Within the river tanks in Unseen New World you can see some of this diversity including several species of cichlids. There are over 1600 species of cichlids making them one of the largest vertebrate families in the animal kingdom. You can spot Silver Arowana which can trace their ancestors back to dinosaurs from the Jurassic period. The white-blotched river stingray, one of the rarest in the world, is also visible in the river tanks. You can also spot some of the reptile diversity of tropical rivers such as the green basilisk which is known for its ability to run across water to escape danger. 

    Visiting the river tanks in Unseen New World allows you to get a small glimpse of the great diversity found in tropical rivers. 

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  • Aviary Keeper Talk

    Feb 11th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Unseen New World

    The Zoo’s tropical aviary is home to more than 10 species of birds native to Central America, South America and Africa. From ground level or a tree-top level mezzanine, guest can peer into a thick canopy of tropical foliage to spot birds like the black and yellow cacique and its gourd-shape nest or the endangered green woodhoopoe, one of the noisiest birds in the aviary. Closer examination of the aviary may also reveal two lizard species; the anole and the basilisk. The Zoo’s aviary is best accessed from inside the Unseen New World across from our display of frogs.

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  • Africa Field Keeper Talk

    Feb 11th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm

    Africa field is home to several species including Ostrich, Eland, Bontebok, and other antelope species. 

    The ostrich is the largest flightless bird in the world. They can run about 40 miles an hour covering 10-16 feet with a single stride. The ostrich will often use their wings as rudders to help change direction quickly while running. Ostriches will live in groups of about 12 birds. All the females of the group will place their eggs in the nest of the dominant female. A single ostrich egg is equivalent to 24 chicken eggs! Ostriches can often be found around other grazing animals like antelope and zebras. Ostriches have great eyesight and will often alert other animals of predators in the area. It is myth that ostriches head their heads in the sand. They will put their necks close to the ground to try and hide from predators, from a distance it appears that their head is in the sand.

    Eland are one of the largest hooved animals in the world. They are very adaptable animals with the ability to live in all environments except deserts, forests, and swamps. They are some of the slowest antelope, running only 25 miles per hour. Eland will live in herds of up to 25. There may be more than one male but only the dominant male will have access to females for breeding. Calves are born after a 9 month gestation period and hide after they are born for protection. 

    The bontebok was nearly extinct in the wild but the creation of Bontebok National Park and breeding on game farms led to the current population of over 2,000 existing throughout southern Africa. Their current conservation status includes the closely related blesbok of which 250,000 exist. They graze during the day on grasses in small groups of about 10. Males will mark their territory with dung and participate in challenge rituals with neighboring males. Both males and females will grow horns. 

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  • Rhino Iguana Keeper Talk

    Feb 12th, 2016
    9:30am - 9:45am
    Unseen New World
    The rhinoceros iguana gets its name from the bumps on its snout which are most pronounced on male iguanas.  Breeding will happen at 2 to 3 years of age with males using head bobs and their spines along their back to attract females.  Females will dig burrows to incubate the eggs, there is no parental care after the eggs hatch.  Rhinoceros iguanas are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.  They spend their nights in rock crevices, caves, or burrows they have dug.  Rhinoceros iguanas are threatened by habitat destruction, invasive species, and illegal hunting.  You can see our iguanas inside Unseen New World.        
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  • Bat Keeper Talk

    Feb 12th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World

    Bats are the only mammals with wings that can fly.  Bats are very important to the ecosystems in which they live as they help to pollinate many of the plants that are found in each habitat.  The short-tailed leaf nose bats will enter into a state similar to hibernation called torpor when food is lacking.  They will roost in two distinct groups; harems with one adult male and several adult females, and bachelor groups of sub-adult males.  Mating can occur twice a year and females will give birth to one baby.  Short-tailed lead nose bats also love to eat mosquitoes!  You can thank them for that when you see them in the Unseen New World.   

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    Feb 12th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Flamingo Lagoon
    Caribbean flamingos are one of 6 species of flamingos which can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. During breeding season they gather in colonies of 5,000 - 100,000 birds. After attracting a partner through an elaborate mating dance a pair of flamingos will begin to build a mud mound on which the female will lay her egg. Both males and females will help incubate the egg and they share responsibilities in caring for the chick.  Flamingos are born gray and do not get their pink feathers until 1-3 years of age. Their diet contains carotenoid pigments which will give them their characteristic pink color. Flamingos are filter feeders and hold their head upside down in shallow water to strain out their food. Flamingos very rarely lay down and even sleep standing up, often only on one leg. You can see our flamingos in Flamingo Lagoon.
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  • Red Ruffed Lemur Keeper Talk

    Feb 12th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Red-ruffed lemurs are 1 of more than 100 species of lemurs on the island of Madagascar. Lemurs are not monkeys but a type of primate called a prosimian. Red-ruffed lemurs will spend most of their day in the canopies of forests and they play an important role in pollination in their habitat. Red-ruffed lemurs are very vocal, with the ability to make more than 12 separate calls. These are used to warn others of predators, keep the group together while foraging, or to warn others that a space is already occupied. Listen for our red-ruffed lemurs Lyra and Larry on the Bamboo Trail.
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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 12th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:45pm
    Grassmere Historic Home and Farm

    Barns owls are the most widespread of any owl species and can be found in any habitat that meets their needs. As with other owls they swallow their prey whole and then cough up pellets which contain all the non-digestible parts of their prey such as bones and fur.

    Barn owls have great eyesight but they are renowned for their ability to hear extremely soft noises. A barn owl hunting in complete darkness can still locate and capture prey using sound alone. Barn owls have been known to nest in hollow trees and artificial nest boxes but earn their name by often taking up residence in old buildings such as abandoned barns and silos. You can see our barn owls at the Croft House barn.

     

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  • Yellow-backed Duiker Keeper Talk

    Feb 12th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Yellow-backed duikers are the largest of all 15 species of duiker.  Adult duikers have black coats with a white face.  The yellow hair begins to appear on their back at 5-9 months and will stand up when the duiker feels threatened or becomes agitated. Little is known about the behavior of yellow-backed duikers due to their shy nature and the thick forests they call home.  Duikers will be solitary or live in a monogamous pair.  They can breed anytime during the year and typically have offspring twice a year.  Young duikers are hidden by their mothers in underbrush for the first several weeks of their life for protection from predators.   Due to their size duikers have to forage for much the day.  While foraging, duikers need to lookout for painted dogs, lions, and leopards.  One of their main defenses is to dive into the underbrush to evade predators.   Yellow-backed duikers have large scent glands underneath their eyes and in between their toes which they rub on trees to mark their territory.  Duikers will also use these glands to rub on their mates during courtship, familiarize young with their parents scent, and males will rub them on other males during competition.   You can see our yellow backed duikers on Bamboo Trail.        
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  • Teddy Bear Clinic

    Feb 13th, 2016
    10:00am - 3:00pm

    Children are invited to bring their favorite teddy bear or stuffed animal friend to Nashville Zoo’s first annual Teddy Bear Clinic on Saturday, Feb. 13 in the Zoo’s Croft Center Gallery. The Nashville Zoo Veterinary Department will be on call from 10:00am to 12:00pm and again from 1:00pm to 3:00pm to perform routine checkups on your child’s stuffed animal. Learn about the excellent care Nashville Zoo’s animals receive from the zookeepers and veterinarian staff. The clinic is FREE with zoo admission. No registration is necessary.

    Other activities and stations include Beary Fun Facts, Bear Bones X-ray station, Bear Care Clinic where kids can dress up like a veterinarian, and I Made It With My Bear Hands coloring station. Children will receive a certificate of “Beary Good Health.”

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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 13th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Ring Tailed Lemur Keeper Talk

    Feb 13th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Bamboo Trail
    Ring-tailed lemurs live in southern areas of Madagascar in social groups of up to 25 members. These are mixed groups with males and females. Female ring-tailed lemurs are always dominant over males and there is one dominant female in each group. When the group travels together they will raise their long ringed tails to act as flags to locate other members of the group.  They will mark their territory by rubbing their scent glands on trees.  Breeding usually takes place between April-June with babies being born August-September.  Females will usually have 1-2 offspring. You can see our ring-tailed lemurs along the Bamboo Trail.
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  • Farm Keeper Talk

    Feb 13th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:45pm

    Many different animals have lived at Grassmere since the house was built in 1810. Many of the animals that you will see at the Grassmere Historic Farm are “heritage breeds,” traditional livestock breeds raised by farmers of the past but whose numbers have since fallen.

    Cattle grazed over much of the land that is now Nashville Zoo and at the Grassmere Historic Farm you can see Belted Galloway cattle which originally came from Scotland. They are known for high quality meat and milk while consuming less feed. 

    Sheep were raised at Grassmere during the 1860’s and 1920s-1930s. On the farm you can currently see Cotswold Sheep which originated in England. These sheep produce “long wool” which is popular with wool spinners. 

    You can also see American Milking Devon cattle which are used for meat, milk, or farm work; barn owls; and a Clydesdale whose feet are the size of your dinner plate! 

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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    Feb 13th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Baird’s tapirs are one of five species of tapirs. Four species live in Central and South America and one species lives in Asia. The upper lip of the tapir forms a proboscis similar to an elephant’s trunk.  This is used to help them collect their food as they browse. Tapirs are born brown with white stripes and spots to help with camouflage and turn solid brown with age. 
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Feb 13th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Seahorse Keeper Talk

    Feb 14th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World
    The seahorse is one of the most unique looking fish found in the ocean. It has a prehensile tail used to hold on to sea grass and coral. Seahorses have a voracious appetite and will eat for up to 10 hours a day; consuming more than 3,000 crustaceans during that time. Seahorses are monogamous, and will usually have one mate during their lifetime. During a mating dance the female will pass eggs to the male. He will then hold the fertilized eggs in his pouch until they emerge about 20 days later as miniature versions of an adult. Juvenile seahorses will reach maturity in 8-10 months. Seahorses are at risk due to overfishing and habitat degradation. 
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 14th, 2016
    10:30am - 10:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Meerkat Keeper Talk

    Feb 14th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Zoo Central
    Meerkats are small mammals related to the mongoose. They live in underground burrows with up to 40 meerkats in groups called mobs. This large social group is key to the meerkats survival. You will see at least one individual on “sentry duty” looking out for predators while others will spend time grooming and playing together to maintain their tight bond. Meerkats are made for digging and can excavate huge burrow systems with many different rooms that provide protection from predators. These burrows can have 15 entrances and they stay a constant cool temperature even in the hot African sun. Be on the lookout for our meerkats near Zoo Central.
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  • Red River Hog Keeper Talk

    Feb 14th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    African Savannah
    Red river hogs are very social animals who will live in groups of up to 20. Groups are usually made up of 1 adult male, several females, and their piglets. They are mostly active once the sun sets where they will use their shovel like snouts to dig up roots or bulbs to eat, though red river hogs will eat most anything they find. Female hogs will give birth to about 1-4 piglets. Male offspring are forced out of their group at about one year of age. Male red river hogs will fight by butting heads, whipping each other with their tails, and will fluff their facial hair when threatened. You can see our red river hogs on the African Savannah.
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Feb 14th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Dwarf Caiman Keeper Talk

    Feb 15th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Dwarf caiman are the smallest species of crocodile.  They like to live in flooded forests with clean and fast-flowing rivers in South America.  They will be found alone or in pairs.  Breeding can occur throughout the year depending on the habitat and the female will lay 10-25 eggs in a nest that was built.  The sex of the eggs are determined by the temperature of the nest during the incubation period.  The eggs hatch after a 90 day incubation and the young will stay with the mother for several weeks.  Dwarf caiman are mainly nocturnal, spending the day in a burrow while going out at night to hunt.  You can see our dwarf caiman in Unseen New World.        
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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 15th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home and Farm

    Barns owls are the most widespread of any owl species and can be found in any habitat that meets their needs. As with other owls they swallow their prey whole and then cough up pellets which contain all the non-digestible parts of their prey such as bones and fur.

    Barn owls have great eyesight but they are renowned for their ability to hear extremely soft noises. A barn owl hunting in complete darkness can still locate and capture prey using sound alone. Barn owls have been known to nest in hollow trees and artificial nest boxes but earn their name by often taking up residence in old buildings such as abandoned barns and silos. You can see our barn owls at the Croft House barn.

     

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  • White-cheeked Gibbon Keeper Talk

    Feb 15th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Gibbon Islands
    Gibbons are not monkeys, but are considered lesser apes due in part to their lack of a tail and ability to walk bipedally on their back legs. Gibbons move through the trees by a process called brachiation which involves swinging using only their arms. Gibbons live in a family unit of an adult male and female and their offspring. The adult female is the dominant member of the group. White-cheeked gibbons are born blonde to camouflage with their mother and then turn black as juveniles. Females finally turn back to a blonde color at sexual maturity while the males stay black. You can see our gibbons on Gibbon Island near Entry Village. 
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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    Feb 15th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail

    Clouded leopards are the top predators in their range and help control populations of prey species. They are solitary hunters active largely at night. Similar to other leopards they are great climbers and can usually be found in trees which they use to hunt and as resting places. Little is known about their breeding behavior but it is thought that they can mate year round. You can visit our clouded leopards on the Bamboo Trail.

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  • Cassowary Keeper Talk

    Feb 15th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Jungle Loop

    Double-wattled cassowaries are solitary birds that live in some of the oldest rainforests in the world known as the “wet tropics.” They are the second largest birds in the world after the ostrich. They can be distinguished by their helmet-like casque atop their head and red wattles on their neck.

    Cassowaries are important to the diversity of the rainforest. They consume over 78 different species of plants. Their poop helps to germinate new plants by spreading the seeds of the consumed plants. Female cassowaries will lay their eggs and leave the males to do all the incubating and raising of the chicks for up to 9 months. You can see our cassowaries across from Kangaroo Kickabout.

     

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    Feb 16th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Flamingo Lagoon
    Caribbean flamingos are one of 6 species of flamingos which can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. During breeding season they gather in colonies of 5,000 - 100,000 birds. After attracting a partner through an elaborate mating dance a pair of flamingos will begin to build a mud mound on which the female will lay her egg. Both males and females will help incubate the egg and they share responsibilities in caring for the chick.  Flamingos are born gray and do not get their pink feathers until 1-3 years of age. Their diet contains carotenoid pigments which will give them their characteristic pink color. Flamingos are filter feeders and hold their head upside down in shallow water to strain out their food. Flamingos very rarely lay down and even sleep standing up, often only on one leg. You can see our flamingos in Flamingo Lagoon.
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  • Siamang Keeper Talk

    Feb 16th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Commonly mistaken for monkeys, siamangs are actually the largest of the lesser ape species. Like all apes, they lack tails and have the ability to move bipedially on their back legs only. Siamangs spend most of their day in trees moving through a process called brachiation meaning they move from tree to tree using only their arms. Siamangs live in a family group consisting a breeding pair and their offspring. Females will give birth every 2-3 years. Siamangs have an enlarged throat sac which can swell to the size of their head to amplify their vocalizations you can hear throughout the zoo!
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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    Feb 16th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Baird’s tapirs are one of five species of tapirs. Four species live in Central and South America and one species lives in Asia. The upper lip of the tapir forms a proboscis similar to an elephant’s trunk.  This is used to help them collect their food as they browse. Tapirs are born brown with white stripes and spots to help with camouflage and turn solid brown with age. 
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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    Feb 16th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail

    Clouded leopards are the top predators in their range and help control populations of prey species. They are solitary hunters active largely at night. Similar to other leopards they are great climbers and can usually be found in trees which they use to hunt and as resting places. Little is known about their breeding behavior but it is thought that they can mate year round. You can visit our clouded leopards on the Bamboo Trail.

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  • Rhinoceros Hornbill Keeper Talk

    Feb 16th, 2016
    3:00pm - 3:15pm

    The rhinoceros hornbill is one of 54 species of hornbill that exist. The rhinoceros hornbill can be distinguished by its banana-shaped casque on the top of its beak. It is thought that this is used to amplify the sound of its call. It is made out of keratin, just like our fingernails and hair and is very strong and lightweight.

    Rhinoceros hornbills chose a nest high in a tree cavity. With The female inside a breeding pair works together to cover the opening with mud and scat, leaving only a small slit to pass food through. The female stays inside the nest for 3 months incubating and caring for the eggs. You can see our rhinoceros hornbill on Bamboo Trail.

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  • Hellbender Keeper Talk

    Feb 17th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Unseen New World

    The largest salamander in Tennessee, hellbenders can be found in the eastern two thirds of the state. Hellbender populations have gone through dramatic declines across their range over the last 20 years and are now a candidate species for endangered status listing. Hellbenders will spend their entire lives in water. They prefer cold fast moving water with high levels of oxygen due to the fact that 95% of their oxygen is absorbed through their skin. Their tiny eyes can detect light but are not very good at forming images. Hellbenders are solitary nocturnal animals who spend the daytime hiding under rocks. A meeting between two hellbenders will usually result in a fight between them. You can see our hellbenders in Unseen New World.

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  • Red Panda Keeper Talk

    Feb 17th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail
    The red pandas were once thought to be relatives of raccoons and bears but research has now put them in their own animal family Ailuridae. Red pandas are solitary and they rarely interact with another red panda outside of mating season. Breeding season is in the early winter with most births being in June. Similarly to their giant panda relatives red pandas have a wrist bone that acts like a thumb to help them grip bamboo. You can see our red pandas on Bamboo Trail.
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  • River Tank Feeding

    Feb 18th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World

    Some of the largest rivers on Earth travel through tropical rain forests. The Amazon has 1,100 tributaries, carries over 500 billion cubic feet of water per day, and has a mouth that is nearly 300 miles wide. Rivers that size have tremendous diversity within them and along their banks, including insects, reptiles, invertebrates, fish, and mammals.

    Within the river tanks in Unseen New World you can see some of this diversity including several species of cichlids. There are over 1600 species of cichlids making them one of the largest vertebrate families in the animal kingdom. You can spot Silver Arowana which can trace their ancestors back to dinosaurs from the Jurassic period. The white-blotched river stingray, one of the rarest in the world, is also visible in the river tanks. You can also spot some of the reptile diversity of tropical rivers such as the green basilisk which is known for its ability to run across water to escape danger. 

    Visiting the river tanks in Unseen New World allows you to get a small glimpse of the great diversity found in tropical rivers. 

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  • Aviary Keeper Talk

    Feb 18th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Unseen New World

    The Zoo’s tropical aviary is home to more than 10 species of birds native to Central America, South America and Africa. From ground level or a tree-top level mezzanine, guest can peer into a thick canopy of tropical foliage to spot birds like the black and yellow cacique and its gourd-shape nest or the endangered green woodhoopoe, one of the noisiest birds in the aviary. Closer examination of the aviary may also reveal two lizard species; the anole and the basilisk. The Zoo’s aviary is best accessed from inside the Unseen New World across from our display of frogs.

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  • Africa Field Keeper Talk

    Feb 18th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm

    Africa field is home to several species including Ostrich, Eland, Bontebok, and other antelope species. 

    The ostrich is the largest flightless bird in the world. They can run about 40 miles an hour covering 10-16 feet with a single stride. The ostrich will often use their wings as rudders to help change direction quickly while running. Ostriches will live in groups of about 12 birds. All the females of the group will place their eggs in the nest of the dominant female. A single ostrich egg is equivalent to 24 chicken eggs! Ostriches can often be found around other grazing animals like antelope and zebras. Ostriches have great eyesight and will often alert other animals of predators in the area. It is myth that ostriches head their heads in the sand. They will put their necks close to the ground to try and hide from predators, from a distance it appears that their head is in the sand.

    Eland are one of the largest hooved animals in the world. They are very adaptable animals with the ability to live in all environments except deserts, forests, and swamps. They are some of the slowest antelope, running only 25 miles per hour. Eland will live in herds of up to 25. There may be more than one male but only the dominant male will have access to females for breeding. Calves are born after a 9 month gestation period and hide after they are born for protection. 

    The bontebok was nearly extinct in the wild but the creation of Bontebok National Park and breeding on game farms led to the current population of over 2,000 existing throughout southern Africa. Their current conservation status includes the closely related blesbok of which 250,000 exist. They graze during the day on grasses in small groups of about 10. Males will mark their territory with dung and participate in challenge rituals with neighboring males. Both males and females will grow horns. 

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  • Rhino Iguana Keeper Talk

    Feb 19th, 2016
    9:30am - 9:45am
    Unseen New World
    The rhinoceros iguana gets its name from the bumps on its snout which are most pronounced on male iguanas.  Breeding will happen at 2 to 3 years of age with males using head bobs and their spines along their back to attract females.  Females will dig burrows to incubate the eggs, there is no parental care after the eggs hatch.  Rhinoceros iguanas are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.  They spend their nights in rock crevices, caves, or burrows they have dug.  Rhinoceros iguanas are threatened by habitat destruction, invasive species, and illegal hunting.  You can see our iguanas inside Unseen New World.        
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  • Bat Keeper Talk

    Feb 19th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World

    Bats are the only mammals with wings that can fly.  Bats are very important to the ecosystems in which they live as they help to pollinate many of the plants that are found in each habitat.  The short-tailed leaf nose bats will enter into a state similar to hibernation called torpor when food is lacking.  They will roost in two distinct groups; harems with one adult male and several adult females, and bachelor groups of sub-adult males.  Mating can occur twice a year and females will give birth to one baby.  Short-tailed lead nose bats also love to eat mosquitoes!  You can thank them for that when you see them in the Unseen New World.   

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    Feb 19th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Flamingo Lagoon
    Caribbean flamingos are one of 6 species of flamingos which can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. During breeding season they gather in colonies of 5,000 - 100,000 birds. After attracting a partner through an elaborate mating dance a pair of flamingos will begin to build a mud mound on which the female will lay her egg. Both males and females will help incubate the egg and they share responsibilities in caring for the chick.  Flamingos are born gray and do not get their pink feathers until 1-3 years of age. Their diet contains carotenoid pigments which will give them their characteristic pink color. Flamingos are filter feeders and hold their head upside down in shallow water to strain out their food. Flamingos very rarely lay down and even sleep standing up, often only on one leg. You can see our flamingos in Flamingo Lagoon.
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  • Red Ruffed Lemur Keeper Talk

    Feb 19th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Red-ruffed lemurs are 1 of more than 100 species of lemurs on the island of Madagascar. Lemurs are not monkeys but a type of primate called a prosimian. Red-ruffed lemurs will spend most of their day in the canopies of forests and they play an important role in pollination in their habitat. Red-ruffed lemurs are very vocal, with the ability to make more than 12 separate calls. These are used to warn others of predators, keep the group together while foraging, or to warn others that a space is already occupied. Listen for our red-ruffed lemurs Lyra and Larry on the Bamboo Trail.
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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 19th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:45pm
    Grassmere Historic Home and Farm

    Barns owls are the most widespread of any owl species and can be found in any habitat that meets their needs. As with other owls they swallow their prey whole and then cough up pellets which contain all the non-digestible parts of their prey such as bones and fur.

    Barn owls have great eyesight but they are renowned for their ability to hear extremely soft noises. A barn owl hunting in complete darkness can still locate and capture prey using sound alone. Barn owls have been known to nest in hollow trees and artificial nest boxes but earn their name by often taking up residence in old buildings such as abandoned barns and silos. You can see our barn owls at the Croft House barn.

     

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  • Yellow-backed Duiker Keeper Talk

    Feb 19th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Yellow-backed duikers are the largest of all 15 species of duiker.  Adult duikers have black coats with a white face.  The yellow hair begins to appear on their back at 5-9 months and will stand up when the duiker feels threatened or becomes agitated. Little is known about the behavior of yellow-backed duikers due to their shy nature and the thick forests they call home.  Duikers will be solitary or live in a monogamous pair.  They can breed anytime during the year and typically have offspring twice a year.  Young duikers are hidden by their mothers in underbrush for the first several weeks of their life for protection from predators.   Due to their size duikers have to forage for much the day.  While foraging, duikers need to lookout for painted dogs, lions, and leopards.  One of their main defenses is to dive into the underbrush to evade predators.   Yellow-backed duikers have large scent glands underneath their eyes and in between their toes which they rub on trees to mark their territory.  Duikers will also use these glands to rub on their mates during courtship, familiarize young with their parents scent, and males will rub them on other males during competition.   You can see our yellow backed duikers on Bamboo Trail.        
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  • Ring Tailed Lemur Keeper Talk

    Feb 20th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Bamboo Trail
    Ring-tailed lemurs live in southern areas of Madagascar in social groups of up to 25 members. These are mixed groups with males and females. Female ring-tailed lemurs are always dominant over males and there is one dominant female in each group. When the group travels together they will raise their long ringed tails to act as flags to locate other members of the group.  They will mark their territory by rubbing their scent glands on trees.  Breeding usually takes place between April-June with babies being born August-September.  Females will usually have 1-2 offspring. You can see our ring-tailed lemurs along the Bamboo Trail.
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 20th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Farm Keeper Talk

    Feb 20th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:45pm

    Many different animals have lived at Grassmere since the house was built in 1810. Many of the animals that you will see at the Grassmere Historic Farm are “heritage breeds,” traditional livestock breeds raised by farmers of the past but whose numbers have since fallen.

    Cattle grazed over much of the land that is now Nashville Zoo and at the Grassmere Historic Farm you can see Belted Galloway cattle which originally came from Scotland. They are known for high quality meat and milk while consuming less feed. 

    Sheep were raised at Grassmere during the 1860’s and 1920s-1930s. On the farm you can currently see Cotswold Sheep which originated in England. These sheep produce “long wool” which is popular with wool spinners. 

    You can also see American Milking Devon cattle which are used for meat, milk, or farm work; barn owls; and a Clydesdale whose feet are the size of your dinner plate! 

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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    Feb 20th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Baird’s tapirs are one of five species of tapirs. Four species live in Central and South America and one species lives in Asia. The upper lip of the tapir forms a proboscis similar to an elephant’s trunk.  This is used to help them collect their food as they browse. Tapirs are born brown with white stripes and spots to help with camouflage and turn solid brown with age. 
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Feb 20th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Seahorse Keeper Talk

    Feb 21st, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World
    The seahorse is one of the most unique looking fish found in the ocean. It has a prehensile tail used to hold on to sea grass and coral. Seahorses have a voracious appetite and will eat for up to 10 hours a day; consuming more than 3,000 crustaceans during that time. Seahorses are monogamous, and will usually have one mate during their lifetime. During a mating dance the female will pass eggs to the male. He will then hold the fertilized eggs in his pouch until they emerge about 20 days later as miniature versions of an adult. Juvenile seahorses will reach maturity in 8-10 months. Seahorses are at risk due to overfishing and habitat degradation. 
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 21st, 2016
    10:30am - 10:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Meerkat Keeper Talk

    Feb 21st, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Zoo Central
    Meerkats are small mammals related to the mongoose. They live in underground burrows with up to 40 meerkats in groups called mobs. This large social group is key to the meerkats survival. You will see at least one individual on “sentry duty” looking out for predators while others will spend time grooming and playing together to maintain their tight bond. Meerkats are made for digging and can excavate huge burrow systems with many different rooms that provide protection from predators. These burrows can have 15 entrances and they stay a constant cool temperature even in the hot African sun. Be on the lookout for our meerkats near Zoo Central.
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  • Red River Hog Keeper Talk

    Feb 21st, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    African Savannah
    Red river hogs are very social animals who will live in groups of up to 20. Groups are usually made up of 1 adult male, several females, and their piglets. They are mostly active once the sun sets where they will use their shovel like snouts to dig up roots or bulbs to eat, though red river hogs will eat most anything they find. Female hogs will give birth to about 1-4 piglets. Male offspring are forced out of their group at about one year of age. Male red river hogs will fight by butting heads, whipping each other with their tails, and will fluff their facial hair when threatened. You can see our red river hogs on the African Savannah.
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Feb 21st, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Dwarf Caiman Keeper Talk

    Feb 22nd, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Dwarf caiman are the smallest species of crocodile.  They like to live in flooded forests with clean and fast-flowing rivers in South America.  They will be found alone or in pairs.  Breeding can occur throughout the year depending on the habitat and the female will lay 10-25 eggs in a nest that was built.  The sex of the eggs are determined by the temperature of the nest during the incubation period.  The eggs hatch after a 90 day incubation and the young will stay with the mother for several weeks.  Dwarf caiman are mainly nocturnal, spending the day in a burrow while going out at night to hunt.  You can see our dwarf caiman in Unseen New World.        
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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 22nd, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home and Farm

    Barns owls are the most widespread of any owl species and can be found in any habitat that meets their needs. As with other owls they swallow their prey whole and then cough up pellets which contain all the non-digestible parts of their prey such as bones and fur.

    Barn owls have great eyesight but they are renowned for their ability to hear extremely soft noises. A barn owl hunting in complete darkness can still locate and capture prey using sound alone. Barn owls have been known to nest in hollow trees and artificial nest boxes but earn their name by often taking up residence in old buildings such as abandoned barns and silos. You can see our barn owls at the Croft House barn.

     

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  • White-cheeked Gibbon Keeper Talk

    Feb 22nd, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Gibbon Islands
    Gibbons are not monkeys, but are considered lesser apes due in part to their lack of a tail and ability to walk bipedally on their back legs. Gibbons move through the trees by a process called brachiation which involves swinging using only their arms. Gibbons live in a family unit of an adult male and female and their offspring. The adult female is the dominant member of the group. White-cheeked gibbons are born blonde to camouflage with their mother and then turn black as juveniles. Females finally turn back to a blonde color at sexual maturity while the males stay black. You can see our gibbons on Gibbon Island near Entry Village. 
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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    Feb 22nd, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail

    Clouded leopards are the top predators in their range and help control populations of prey species. They are solitary hunters active largely at night. Similar to other leopards they are great climbers and can usually be found in trees which they use to hunt and as resting places. Little is known about their breeding behavior but it is thought that they can mate year round. You can visit our clouded leopards on the Bamboo Trail.

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  • Cassowary Keeper Talk

    Feb 22nd, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Jungle Loop

    Double-wattled cassowaries are solitary birds that live in some of the oldest rainforests in the world known as the “wet tropics.” They are the second largest birds in the world after the ostrich. They can be distinguished by their helmet-like casque atop their head and red wattles on their neck.

    Cassowaries are important to the diversity of the rainforest. They consume over 78 different species of plants. Their poop helps to germinate new plants by spreading the seeds of the consumed plants. Female cassowaries will lay their eggs and leave the males to do all the incubating and raising of the chicks for up to 9 months. You can see our cassowaries across from Kangaroo Kickabout.

     

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    Feb 23rd, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Flamingo Lagoon
    Caribbean flamingos are one of 6 species of flamingos which can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. During breeding season they gather in colonies of 5,000 - 100,000 birds. After attracting a partner through an elaborate mating dance a pair of flamingos will begin to build a mud mound on which the female will lay her egg. Both males and females will help incubate the egg and they share responsibilities in caring for the chick.  Flamingos are born gray and do not get their pink feathers until 1-3 years of age. Their diet contains carotenoid pigments which will give them their characteristic pink color. Flamingos are filter feeders and hold their head upside down in shallow water to strain out their food. Flamingos very rarely lay down and even sleep standing up, often only on one leg. You can see our flamingos in Flamingo Lagoon.
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  • Siamang Keeper Talk

    Feb 23rd, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Commonly mistaken for monkeys, siamangs are actually the largest of the lesser ape species. Like all apes, they lack tails and have the ability to move bipedially on their back legs only. Siamangs spend most of their day in trees moving through a process called brachiation meaning they move from tree to tree using only their arms. Siamangs live in a family group consisting a breeding pair and their offspring. Females will give birth every 2-3 years. Siamangs have an enlarged throat sac which can swell to the size of their head to amplify their vocalizations you can hear throughout the zoo!
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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    Feb 23rd, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Baird’s tapirs are one of five species of tapirs. Four species live in Central and South America and one species lives in Asia. The upper lip of the tapir forms a proboscis similar to an elephant’s trunk.  This is used to help them collect their food as they browse. Tapirs are born brown with white stripes and spots to help with camouflage and turn solid brown with age. 
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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    Feb 23rd, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail

    Clouded leopards are the top predators in their range and help control populations of prey species. They are solitary hunters active largely at night. Similar to other leopards they are great climbers and can usually be found in trees which they use to hunt and as resting places. Little is known about their breeding behavior but it is thought that they can mate year round. You can visit our clouded leopards on the Bamboo Trail.

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  • Rhinoceros Hornbill Keeper Talk

    Feb 23rd, 2016
    3:00pm - 3:15pm

    The rhinoceros hornbill is one of 54 species of hornbill that exist. The rhinoceros hornbill can be distinguished by its banana-shaped casque on the top of its beak. It is thought that this is used to amplify the sound of its call. It is made out of keratin, just like our fingernails and hair and is very strong and lightweight.

    Rhinoceros hornbills chose a nest high in a tree cavity. With The female inside a breeding pair works together to cover the opening with mud and scat, leaving only a small slit to pass food through. The female stays inside the nest for 3 months incubating and caring for the eggs. You can see our rhinoceros hornbill on Bamboo Trail.

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  • Hellbender Keeper Talk

    Feb 24th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Unseen New World

    The largest salamander in Tennessee, hellbenders can be found in the eastern two thirds of the state. Hellbender populations have gone through dramatic declines across their range over the last 20 years and are now a candidate species for endangered status listing. Hellbenders will spend their entire lives in water. They prefer cold fast moving water with high levels of oxygen due to the fact that 95% of their oxygen is absorbed through their skin. Their tiny eyes can detect light but are not very good at forming images. Hellbenders are solitary nocturnal animals who spend the daytime hiding under rocks. A meeting between two hellbenders will usually result in a fight between them. You can see our hellbenders in Unseen New World.

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  • Red Panda Keeper Talk

    Feb 24th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail
    The red pandas were once thought to be relatives of raccoons and bears but research has now put them in their own animal family Ailuridae. Red pandas are solitary and they rarely interact with another red panda outside of mating season. Breeding season is in the early winter with most births being in June. Similarly to their giant panda relatives red pandas have a wrist bone that acts like a thumb to help them grip bamboo. You can see our red pandas on Bamboo Trail.
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  • River Tank Feeding

    Feb 25th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World

    Some of the largest rivers on Earth travel through tropical rain forests. The Amazon has 1,100 tributaries, carries over 500 billion cubic feet of water per day, and has a mouth that is nearly 300 miles wide. Rivers that size have tremendous diversity within them and along their banks, including insects, reptiles, invertebrates, fish, and mammals.

    Within the river tanks in Unseen New World you can see some of this diversity including several species of cichlids. There are over 1600 species of cichlids making them one of the largest vertebrate families in the animal kingdom. You can spot Silver Arowana which can trace their ancestors back to dinosaurs from the Jurassic period. The white-blotched river stingray, one of the rarest in the world, is also visible in the river tanks. You can also spot some of the reptile diversity of tropical rivers such as the green basilisk which is known for its ability to run across water to escape danger. 

    Visiting the river tanks in Unseen New World allows you to get a small glimpse of the great diversity found in tropical rivers. 

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  • Aviary Keeper Talk

    Feb 25th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Unseen New World

    The Zoo’s tropical aviary is home to more than 10 species of birds native to Central America, South America and Africa. From ground level or a tree-top level mezzanine, guest can peer into a thick canopy of tropical foliage to spot birds like the black and yellow cacique and its gourd-shape nest or the endangered green woodhoopoe, one of the noisiest birds in the aviary. Closer examination of the aviary may also reveal two lizard species; the anole and the basilisk. The Zoo’s aviary is best accessed from inside the Unseen New World across from our display of frogs.

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  • Africa Field Keeper Talk

    Feb 25th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm

    Africa field is home to several species including Ostrich, Eland, Bontebok, and other antelope species. 

    The ostrich is the largest flightless bird in the world. They can run about 40 miles an hour covering 10-16 feet with a single stride. The ostrich will often use their wings as rudders to help change direction quickly while running. Ostriches will live in groups of about 12 birds. All the females of the group will place their eggs in the nest of the dominant female. A single ostrich egg is equivalent to 24 chicken eggs! Ostriches can often be found around other grazing animals like antelope and zebras. Ostriches have great eyesight and will often alert other animals of predators in the area. It is myth that ostriches head their heads in the sand. They will put their necks close to the ground to try and hide from predators, from a distance it appears that their head is in the sand.

    Eland are one of the largest hooved animals in the world. They are very adaptable animals with the ability to live in all environments except deserts, forests, and swamps. They are some of the slowest antelope, running only 25 miles per hour. Eland will live in herds of up to 25. There may be more than one male but only the dominant male will have access to females for breeding. Calves are born after a 9 month gestation period and hide after they are born for protection. 

    The bontebok was nearly extinct in the wild but the creation of Bontebok National Park and breeding on game farms led to the current population of over 2,000 existing throughout southern Africa. Their current conservation status includes the closely related blesbok of which 250,000 exist. They graze during the day on grasses in small groups of about 10. Males will mark their territory with dung and participate in challenge rituals with neighboring males. Both males and females will grow horns. 

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  • Rhino Iguana Keeper Talk

    Feb 26th, 2016
    9:30am - 9:45am
    Unseen New World
    The rhinoceros iguana gets its name from the bumps on its snout which are most pronounced on male iguanas.  Breeding will happen at 2 to 3 years of age with males using head bobs and their spines along their back to attract females.  Females will dig burrows to incubate the eggs, there is no parental care after the eggs hatch.  Rhinoceros iguanas are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.  They spend their nights in rock crevices, caves, or burrows they have dug.  Rhinoceros iguanas are threatened by habitat destruction, invasive species, and illegal hunting.  You can see our iguanas inside Unseen New World.        
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  • Bat Keeper Talk

    Feb 26th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World

    Bats are the only mammals with wings that can fly.  Bats are very important to the ecosystems in which they live as they help to pollinate many of the plants that are found in each habitat.  The short-tailed leaf nose bats will enter into a state similar to hibernation called torpor when food is lacking.  They will roost in two distinct groups; harems with one adult male and several adult females, and bachelor groups of sub-adult males.  Mating can occur twice a year and females will give birth to one baby.  Short-tailed lead nose bats also love to eat mosquitoes!  You can thank them for that when you see them in the Unseen New World.   

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    Feb 26th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Flamingo Lagoon
    Caribbean flamingos are one of 6 species of flamingos which can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. During breeding season they gather in colonies of 5,000 - 100,000 birds. After attracting a partner through an elaborate mating dance a pair of flamingos will begin to build a mud mound on which the female will lay her egg. Both males and females will help incubate the egg and they share responsibilities in caring for the chick.  Flamingos are born gray and do not get their pink feathers until 1-3 years of age. Their diet contains carotenoid pigments which will give them their characteristic pink color. Flamingos are filter feeders and hold their head upside down in shallow water to strain out their food. Flamingos very rarely lay down and even sleep standing up, often only on one leg. You can see our flamingos in Flamingo Lagoon.
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  • Red Ruffed Lemur Keeper Talk

    Feb 26th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Red-ruffed lemurs are 1 of more than 100 species of lemurs on the island of Madagascar. Lemurs are not monkeys but a type of primate called a prosimian. Red-ruffed lemurs will spend most of their day in the canopies of forests and they play an important role in pollination in their habitat. Red-ruffed lemurs are very vocal, with the ability to make more than 12 separate calls. These are used to warn others of predators, keep the group together while foraging, or to warn others that a space is already occupied. Listen for our red-ruffed lemurs Lyra and Larry on the Bamboo Trail.
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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 26th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:45pm
    Grassmere Historic Home and Farm

    Barns owls are the most widespread of any owl species and can be found in any habitat that meets their needs. As with other owls they swallow their prey whole and then cough up pellets which contain all the non-digestible parts of their prey such as bones and fur.

    Barn owls have great eyesight but they are renowned for their ability to hear extremely soft noises. A barn owl hunting in complete darkness can still locate and capture prey using sound alone. Barn owls have been known to nest in hollow trees and artificial nest boxes but earn their name by often taking up residence in old buildings such as abandoned barns and silos. You can see our barn owls at the Croft House barn.

     

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  • Yellow-backed Duiker Keeper Talk

    Feb 26th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Yellow-backed duikers are the largest of all 15 species of duiker.  Adult duikers have black coats with a white face.  The yellow hair begins to appear on their back at 5-9 months and will stand up when the duiker feels threatened or becomes agitated. Little is known about the behavior of yellow-backed duikers due to their shy nature and the thick forests they call home.  Duikers will be solitary or live in a monogamous pair.  They can breed anytime during the year and typically have offspring twice a year.  Young duikers are hidden by their mothers in underbrush for the first several weeks of their life for protection from predators.   Due to their size duikers have to forage for much the day.  While foraging, duikers need to lookout for painted dogs, lions, and leopards.  One of their main defenses is to dive into the underbrush to evade predators.   Yellow-backed duikers have large scent glands underneath their eyes and in between their toes which they rub on trees to mark their territory.  Duikers will also use these glands to rub on their mates during courtship, familiarize young with their parents scent, and males will rub them on other males during competition.   You can see our yellow backed duikers on Bamboo Trail.        
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  • Ring Tailed Lemur Keeper Talk

    Feb 27th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Bamboo Trail
    Ring-tailed lemurs live in southern areas of Madagascar in social groups of up to 25 members. These are mixed groups with males and females. Female ring-tailed lemurs are always dominant over males and there is one dominant female in each group. When the group travels together they will raise their long ringed tails to act as flags to locate other members of the group.  They will mark their territory by rubbing their scent glands on trees.  Breeding usually takes place between April-June with babies being born August-September.  Females will usually have 1-2 offspring. You can see our ring-tailed lemurs along the Bamboo Trail.
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 27th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Farm Keeper Talk

    Feb 27th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:45pm

    Many different animals have lived at Grassmere since the house was built in 1810. Many of the animals that you will see at the Grassmere Historic Farm are “heritage breeds,” traditional livestock breeds raised by farmers of the past but whose numbers have since fallen.

    Cattle grazed over much of the land that is now Nashville Zoo and at the Grassmere Historic Farm you can see Belted Galloway cattle which originally came from Scotland. They are known for high quality meat and milk while consuming less feed. 

    Sheep were raised at Grassmere during the 1860’s and 1920s-1930s. On the farm you can currently see Cotswold Sheep which originated in England. These sheep produce “long wool” which is popular with wool spinners. 

    You can also see American Milking Devon cattle which are used for meat, milk, or farm work; barn owls; and a Clydesdale whose feet are the size of your dinner plate! 

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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    Feb 27th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Baird’s tapirs are one of five species of tapirs. Four species live in Central and South America and one species lives in Asia. The upper lip of the tapir forms a proboscis similar to an elephant’s trunk.  This is used to help them collect their food as they browse. Tapirs are born brown with white stripes and spots to help with camouflage and turn solid brown with age. 
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Feb 27th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Seahorse Keeper Talk

    Feb 28th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World
    The seahorse is one of the most unique looking fish found in the ocean. It has a prehensile tail used to hold on to sea grass and coral. Seahorses have a voracious appetite and will eat for up to 10 hours a day; consuming more than 3,000 crustaceans during that time. Seahorses are monogamous, and will usually have one mate during their lifetime. During a mating dance the female will pass eggs to the male. He will then hold the fertilized eggs in his pouch until they emerge about 20 days later as miniature versions of an adult. Juvenile seahorses will reach maturity in 8-10 months. Seahorses are at risk due to overfishing and habitat degradation. 
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 28th, 2016
    10:30am - 10:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Meerkat Keeper Talk

    Feb 28th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Zoo Central
    Meerkats are small mammals related to the mongoose. They live in underground burrows with up to 40 meerkats in groups called mobs. This large social group is key to the meerkats survival. You will see at least one individual on “sentry duty” looking out for predators while others will spend time grooming and playing together to maintain their tight bond. Meerkats are made for digging and can excavate huge burrow systems with many different rooms that provide protection from predators. These burrows can have 15 entrances and they stay a constant cool temperature even in the hot African sun. Be on the lookout for our meerkats near Zoo Central.
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  • Red River Hog Keeper Talk

    Feb 28th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    African Savannah
    Red river hogs are very social animals who will live in groups of up to 20. Groups are usually made up of 1 adult male, several females, and their piglets. They are mostly active once the sun sets where they will use their shovel like snouts to dig up roots or bulbs to eat, though red river hogs will eat most anything they find. Female hogs will give birth to about 1-4 piglets. Male offspring are forced out of their group at about one year of age. Male red river hogs will fight by butting heads, whipping each other with their tails, and will fluff their facial hair when threatened. You can see our red river hogs on the African Savannah.
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Feb 28th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Dwarf Caiman Keeper Talk

    Feb 29th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Dwarf caiman are the smallest species of crocodile.  They like to live in flooded forests with clean and fast-flowing rivers in South America.  They will be found alone or in pairs.  Breeding can occur throughout the year depending on the habitat and the female will lay 10-25 eggs in a nest that was built.  The sex of the eggs are determined by the temperature of the nest during the incubation period.  The eggs hatch after a 90 day incubation and the young will stay with the mother for several weeks.  Dwarf caiman are mainly nocturnal, spending the day in a burrow while going out at night to hunt.  You can see our dwarf caiman in Unseen New World.        
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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    Feb 29th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home and Farm

    Barns owls are the most widespread of any owl species and can be found in any habitat that meets their needs. As with other owls they swallow their prey whole and then cough up pellets which contain all the non-digestible parts of their prey such as bones and fur.

    Barn owls have great eyesight but they are renowned for their ability to hear extremely soft noises. A barn owl hunting in complete darkness can still locate and capture prey using sound alone. Barn owls have been known to nest in hollow trees and artificial nest boxes but earn their name by often taking up residence in old buildings such as abandoned barns and silos. You can see our barn owls at the Croft House barn.

     

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  • White-cheeked Gibbon Keeper Talk

    Feb 29th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Gibbon Islands
    Gibbons are not monkeys, but are considered lesser apes due in part to their lack of a tail and ability to walk bipedally on their back legs. Gibbons move through the trees by a process called brachiation which involves swinging using only their arms. Gibbons live in a family unit of an adult male and female and their offspring. The adult female is the dominant member of the group. White-cheeked gibbons are born blonde to camouflage with their mother and then turn black as juveniles. Females finally turn back to a blonde color at sexual maturity while the males stay black. You can see our gibbons on Gibbon Island near Entry Village. 
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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    Feb 29th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail

    Clouded leopards are the top predators in their range and help control populations of prey species. They are solitary hunters active largely at night. Similar to other leopards they are great climbers and can usually be found in trees which they use to hunt and as resting places. Little is known about their breeding behavior but it is thought that they can mate year round. You can visit our clouded leopards on the Bamboo Trail.

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  • Cassowary Keeper Talk

    Feb 29th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Jungle Loop

    Double-wattled cassowaries are solitary birds that live in some of the oldest rainforests in the world known as the “wet tropics.” They are the second largest birds in the world after the ostrich. They can be distinguished by their helmet-like casque atop their head and red wattles on their neck.

    Cassowaries are important to the diversity of the rainforest. They consume over 78 different species of plants. Their poop helps to germinate new plants by spreading the seeds of the consumed plants. Female cassowaries will lay their eggs and leave the males to do all the incubating and raising of the chicks for up to 9 months. You can see our cassowaries across from Kangaroo Kickabout.

     

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    Mar 1st, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Flamingo Lagoon
    Caribbean flamingos are one of 6 species of flamingos which can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. During breeding season they gather in colonies of 5,000 - 100,000 birds. After attracting a partner through an elaborate mating dance a pair of flamingos will begin to build a mud mound on which the female will lay her egg. Both males and females will help incubate the egg and they share responsibilities in caring for the chick.  Flamingos are born gray and do not get their pink feathers until 1-3 years of age. Their diet contains carotenoid pigments which will give them their characteristic pink color. Flamingos are filter feeders and hold their head upside down in shallow water to strain out their food. Flamingos very rarely lay down and even sleep standing up, often only on one leg. You can see our flamingos in Flamingo Lagoon.
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  • Siamang Keeper Talk

    Mar 1st, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Commonly mistaken for monkeys, siamangs are actually the largest of the lesser ape species. Like all apes, they lack tails and have the ability to move bipedially on their back legs only. Siamangs spend most of their day in trees moving through a process called brachiation meaning they move from tree to tree using only their arms. Siamangs live in a family group consisting a breeding pair and their offspring. Females will give birth every 2-3 years. Siamangs have an enlarged throat sac which can swell to the size of their head to amplify their vocalizations you can hear throughout the zoo!
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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    Mar 1st, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail

    Clouded leopards are the top predators in their range and help control populations of prey species. They are solitary hunters active largely at night. Similar to other leopards they are great climbers and can usually be found in trees which they use to hunt and as resting places. Little is known about their breeding behavior but it is thought that they can mate year round. You can visit our clouded leopards on the Bamboo Trail.

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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    Mar 1st, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Baird’s tapirs are one of five species of tapirs. Four species live in Central and South America and one species lives in Asia. The upper lip of the tapir forms a proboscis similar to an elephant’s trunk.  This is used to help them collect their food as they browse. Tapirs are born brown with white stripes and spots to help with camouflage and turn solid brown with age. 
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  • Rhinoceros Hornbill Keeper Talk

    Mar 1st, 2016
    3:00pm - 3:15pm

    The rhinoceros hornbill is one of 54 species of hornbill that exist. The rhinoceros hornbill can be distinguished by its banana-shaped casque on the top of its beak. It is thought that this is used to amplify the sound of its call. It is made out of keratin, just like our fingernails and hair and is very strong and lightweight.

    Rhinoceros hornbills chose a nest high in a tree cavity. With The female inside a breeding pair works together to cover the opening with mud and scat, leaving only a small slit to pass food through. The female stays inside the nest for 3 months incubating and caring for the eggs. You can see our rhinoceros hornbill on Bamboo Trail.

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  • Hellbender Keeper Talk

    Mar 2nd, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Unseen New World

    The largest salamander in Tennessee, hellbenders can be found in the eastern two thirds of the state. Hellbender populations have gone through dramatic declines across their range over the last 20 years and are now a candidate species for endangered status listing. Hellbenders will spend their entire lives in water. They prefer cold fast moving water with high levels of oxygen due to the fact that 95% of their oxygen is absorbed through their skin. Their tiny eyes can detect light but are not very good at forming images. Hellbenders are solitary nocturnal animals who spend the daytime hiding under rocks. A meeting between two hellbenders will usually result in a fight between them. You can see our hellbenders in Unseen New World.

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  • Red Panda Keeper Talk

    Mar 2nd, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail
    The red pandas were once thought to be relatives of raccoons and bears but research has now put them in their own animal family Ailuridae. Red pandas are solitary and they rarely interact with another red panda outside of mating season. Breeding season is in the early winter with most births being in June. Similarly to their giant panda relatives red pandas have a wrist bone that acts like a thumb to help them grip bamboo. You can see our red pandas on Bamboo Trail.
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  • River Tank Feeding

    Mar 3rd, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World

    Some of the largest rivers on Earth travel through tropical rain forests. The Amazon has 1,100 tributaries, carries over 500 billion cubic feet of water per day, and has a mouth that is nearly 300 miles wide. Rivers that size have tremendous diversity within them and along their banks, including insects, reptiles, invertebrates, fish, and mammals.

    Within the river tanks in Unseen New World you can see some of this diversity including several species of cichlids. There are over 1600 species of cichlids making them one of the largest vertebrate families in the animal kingdom. You can spot Silver Arowana which can trace their ancestors back to dinosaurs from the Jurassic period. The white-blotched river stingray, one of the rarest in the world, is also visible in the river tanks. You can also spot some of the reptile diversity of tropical rivers such as the green basilisk which is known for its ability to run across water to escape danger. 

    Visiting the river tanks in Unseen New World allows you to get a small glimpse of the great diversity found in tropical rivers. 

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  • Aviary Keeper Talk

    Mar 3rd, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Unseen New World

    The Zoo’s tropical aviary is home to more than 10 species of birds native to Central America, South America and Africa. From ground level or a tree-top level mezzanine, guest can peer into a thick canopy of tropical foliage to spot birds like the black and yellow cacique and its gourd-shape nest or the endangered green woodhoopoe, one of the noisiest birds in the aviary. Closer examination of the aviary may also reveal two lizard species; the anole and the basilisk. The Zoo’s aviary is best accessed from inside the Unseen New World across from our display of frogs.

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  • Africa Field Keeper Talk

    Mar 3rd, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm

    Africa field is home to several species including Ostrich, Eland, Bontebok, and other antelope species. 

    The ostrich is the largest flightless bird in the world. They can run about 40 miles an hour covering 10-16 feet with a single stride. The ostrich will often use their wings as rudders to help change direction quickly while running. Ostriches will live in groups of about 12 birds. All the females of the group will place their eggs in the nest of the dominant female. A single ostrich egg is equivalent to 24 chicken eggs! Ostriches can often be found around other grazing animals like antelope and zebras. Ostriches have great eyesight and will often alert other animals of predators in the area. It is myth that ostriches head their heads in the sand. They will put their necks close to the ground to try and hide from predators, from a distance it appears that their head is in the sand.

    Eland are one of the largest hooved animals in the world. They are very adaptable animals with the ability to live in all environments except deserts, forests, and swamps. They are some of the slowest antelope, running only 25 miles per hour. Eland will live in herds of up to 25. There may be more than one male but only the dominant male will have access to females for breeding. Calves are born after a 9 month gestation period and hide after they are born for protection. 

    The bontebok was nearly extinct in the wild but the creation of Bontebok National Park and breeding on game farms led to the current population of over 2,000 existing throughout southern Africa. Their current conservation status includes the closely related blesbok of which 250,000 exist. They graze during the day on grasses in small groups of about 10. Males will mark their territory with dung and participate in challenge rituals with neighboring males. Both males and females will grow horns. 

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  • Rhino Iguana Keeper Talk

    Mar 4th, 2016
    9:30am - 9:45am
    Unseen New World
    The rhinoceros iguana gets its name from the bumps on its snout which are most pronounced on male iguanas.  Breeding will happen at 2 to 3 years of age with males using head bobs and their spines along their back to attract females.  Females will dig burrows to incubate the eggs, there is no parental care after the eggs hatch.  Rhinoceros iguanas are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.  They spend their nights in rock crevices, caves, or burrows they have dug.  Rhinoceros iguanas are threatened by habitat destruction, invasive species, and illegal hunting.  You can see our iguanas inside Unseen New World.        
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  • Bat Keeper Talk

    Mar 4th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World

    Bats are the only mammals with wings that can fly.  Bats are very important to the ecosystems in which they live as they help to pollinate many of the plants that are found in each habitat.  The short-tailed leaf nose bats will enter into a state similar to hibernation called torpor when food is lacking.  They will roost in two distinct groups; harems with one adult male and several adult females, and bachelor groups of sub-adult males.  Mating can occur twice a year and females will give birth to one baby.  Short-tailed lead nose bats also love to eat mosquitoes!  You can thank them for that when you see them in the Unseen New World.   

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    Mar 4th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Flamingo Lagoon
    Caribbean flamingos are one of 6 species of flamingos which can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. During breeding season they gather in colonies of 5,000 - 100,000 birds. After attracting a partner through an elaborate mating dance a pair of flamingos will begin to build a mud mound on which the female will lay her egg. Both males and females will help incubate the egg and they share responsibilities in caring for the chick.  Flamingos are born gray and do not get their pink feathers until 1-3 years of age. Their diet contains carotenoid pigments which will give them their characteristic pink color. Flamingos are filter feeders and hold their head upside down in shallow water to strain out their food. Flamingos very rarely lay down and even sleep standing up, often only on one leg. You can see our flamingos in Flamingo Lagoon.
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  • Red Ruffed Lemur Keeper Talk

    Mar 4th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Red-ruffed lemurs are 1 of more than 100 species of lemurs on the island of Madagascar. Lemurs are not monkeys but a type of primate called a prosimian. Red-ruffed lemurs will spend most of their day in the canopies of forests and they play an important role in pollination in their habitat. Red-ruffed lemurs are very vocal, with the ability to make more than 12 separate calls. These are used to warn others of predators, keep the group together while foraging, or to warn others that a space is already occupied. Listen for our red-ruffed lemurs Lyra and Larry on the Bamboo Trail.
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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    Mar 4th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:45pm
    Grassmere Historic Home and Farm

    Barns owls are the most widespread of any owl species and can be found in any habitat that meets their needs. As with other owls they swallow their prey whole and then cough up pellets which contain all the non-digestible parts of their prey such as bones and fur.

    Barn owls have great eyesight but they are renowned for their ability to hear extremely soft noises. A barn owl hunting in complete darkness can still locate and capture prey using sound alone. Barn owls have been known to nest in hollow trees and artificial nest boxes but earn their name by often taking up residence in old buildings such as abandoned barns and silos. You can see our barn owls at the Croft House barn.

     

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  • Yellow-backed Duiker Keeper Talk

    Mar 4th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Yellow-backed duikers are the largest of all 15 species of duiker.  Adult duikers have black coats with a white face.  The yellow hair begins to appear on their back at 5-9 months and will stand up when the duiker feels threatened or becomes agitated. Little is known about the behavior of yellow-backed duikers due to their shy nature and the thick forests they call home.  Duikers will be solitary or live in a monogamous pair.  They can breed anytime during the year and typically have offspring twice a year.  Young duikers are hidden by their mothers in underbrush for the first several weeks of their life for protection from predators.   Due to their size duikers have to forage for much the day.  While foraging, duikers need to lookout for painted dogs, lions, and leopards.  One of their main defenses is to dive into the underbrush to evade predators.   Yellow-backed duikers have large scent glands underneath their eyes and in between their toes which they rub on trees to mark their territory.  Duikers will also use these glands to rub on their mates during courtship, familiarize young with their parents scent, and males will rub them on other males during competition.   You can see our yellow backed duikers on Bamboo Trail.        
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  • Weed Wrangle

    Mar 5th, 2016
    9:00am - Noon

    We need your help! Join Nashville Zoo for the first annual Weed Wrangle, a city-wide clean-up day dedicated to ridding Nashville of non-native plant species. Weed Wrangle is set for Saturday, March 5 from 9am - noon.

    Exotic invasive plants, particularly bush honeysuckle and Chinese privet, have out-competed native plant species over the last hundred years on the Zoo’s Grassmere property. Without natural predators, this invasive vegetation has negatively impacted the ecosystem, causing a decline in native plants along with the animals that rely on them. While we have been actively working to remove invasive plants from our property for the last two years, our participation in the Weed Wrangle highlights a city-wide initiative to rescue public parks and green spaces through the removal of harmful vegetation.

    During the clean-up day, volunteers will be paired with a site coordinator who will help them correctly identify the invasive plants and assist with hands-on removal. Nine other green spaces around Nashville will also be participating in the weed removal day, but those interested in volunteering at the Zoo must register in advance. Questions? Email volunteer@nashvillezoo.org.

    Become a Weed Wrangle Volunteer
    Weed Wrangle volunteers must be at least 16 years old.

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  • Ring Tailed Lemur Keeper Talk

    Mar 5th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Bamboo Trail
    Ring-tailed lemurs live in southern areas of Madagascar in social groups of up to 25 members. These are mixed groups with males and females. Female ring-tailed lemurs are always dominant over males and there is one dominant female in each group. When the group travels together they will raise their long ringed tails to act as flags to locate other members of the group.  They will mark their territory by rubbing their scent glands on trees.  Breeding usually takes place between April-June with babies being born August-September.  Females will usually have 1-2 offspring. You can see our ring-tailed lemurs along the Bamboo Trail.
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Mar 5th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Farm Keeper Talk

    Mar 5th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:45pm

    Many different animals have lived at Grassmere since the house was built in 1810. Many of the animals that you will see at the Grassmere Historic Farm are “heritage breeds,” traditional livestock breeds raised by farmers of the past but whose numbers have since fallen.

    Cattle grazed over much of the land that is now Nashville Zoo and at the Grassmere Historic Farm you can see Belted Galloway cattle which originally came from Scotland. They are known for high quality meat and milk while consuming less feed. 

    Sheep were raised at Grassmere during the 1860’s and 1920s-1930s. On the farm you can currently see Cotswold Sheep which originated in England. These sheep produce “long wool” which is popular with wool spinners. 

    You can also see American Milking Devon cattle which are used for meat, milk, or farm work; barn owls; and a Clydesdale whose feet are the size of your dinner plate! 

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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    Mar 5th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Baird’s tapirs are one of five species of tapirs. Four species live in Central and South America and one species lives in Asia. The upper lip of the tapir forms a proboscis similar to an elephant’s trunk.  This is used to help them collect their food as they browse. Tapirs are born brown with white stripes and spots to help with camouflage and turn solid brown with age. 
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Mar 5th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Seahorse Keeper Talk

    Mar 6th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World
    The seahorse is one of the most unique looking fish found in the ocean. It has a prehensile tail used to hold on to sea grass and coral. Seahorses have a voracious appetite and will eat for up to 10 hours a day; consuming more than 3,000 crustaceans during that time. Seahorses are monogamous, and will usually have one mate during their lifetime. During a mating dance the female will pass eggs to the male. He will then hold the fertilized eggs in his pouch until they emerge about 20 days later as miniature versions of an adult. Juvenile seahorses will reach maturity in 8-10 months. Seahorses are at risk due to overfishing and habitat degradation. 
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Mar 6th, 2016
    10:30am - 10:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Meerkat Keeper Talk

    Mar 6th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Zoo Central
    Meerkats are small mammals related to the mongoose. They live in underground burrows with up to 40 meerkats in groups called mobs. This large social group is key to the meerkats survival. You will see at least one individual on “sentry duty” looking out for predators while others will spend time grooming and playing together to maintain their tight bond. Meerkats are made for digging and can excavate huge burrow systems with many different rooms that provide protection from predators. These burrows can have 15 entrances and they stay a constant cool temperature even in the hot African sun. Be on the lookout for our meerkats near Zoo Central.
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  • Red River Hog Keeper Talk

    Mar 6th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    African Savannah
    Red river hogs are very social animals who will live in groups of up to 20. Groups are usually made up of 1 adult male, several females, and their piglets. They are mostly active once the sun sets where they will use their shovel like snouts to dig up roots or bulbs to eat, though red river hogs will eat most anything they find. Female hogs will give birth to about 1-4 piglets. Male offspring are forced out of their group at about one year of age. Male red river hogs will fight by butting heads, whipping each other with their tails, and will fluff their facial hair when threatened. You can see our red river hogs on the African Savannah.
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Mar 6th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Dwarf Caiman Keeper Talk

    Mar 7th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Dwarf caiman are the smallest species of crocodile.  They like to live in flooded forests with clean and fast-flowing rivers in South America.  They will be found alone or in pairs.  Breeding can occur throughout the year depending on the habitat and the female will lay 10-25 eggs in a nest that was built.  The sex of the eggs are determined by the temperature of the nest during the incubation period.  The eggs hatch after a 90 day incubation and the young will stay with the mother for several weeks.  Dwarf caiman are mainly nocturnal, spending the day in a burrow while going out at night to hunt.  You can see our dwarf caiman in Unseen New World.        
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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    Mar 7th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home and Farm

    Barns owls are the most widespread of any owl species and can be found in any habitat that meets their needs. As with other owls they swallow their prey whole and then cough up pellets which contain all the non-digestible parts of their prey such as bones and fur.

    Barn owls have great eyesight but they are renowned for their ability to hear extremely soft noises. A barn owl hunting in complete darkness can still locate and capture prey using sound alone. Barn owls have been known to nest in hollow trees and artificial nest boxes but earn their name by often taking up residence in old buildings such as abandoned barns and silos. You can see our barn owls at the Croft House barn.

     

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  • White-cheeked Gibbon Keeper Talk

    Mar 7th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Gibbon Islands
    Gibbons are not monkeys, but are considered lesser apes due in part to their lack of a tail and ability to walk bipedally on their back legs. Gibbons move through the trees by a process called brachiation which involves swinging using only their arms. Gibbons live in a family unit of an adult male and female and their offspring. The adult female is the dominant member of the group. White-cheeked gibbons are born blonde to camouflage with their mother and then turn black as juveniles. Females finally turn back to a blonde color at sexual maturity while the males stay black. You can see our gibbons on Gibbon Island near Entry Village. 
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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    Mar 7th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail

    Clouded leopards are the top predators in their range and help control populations of prey species. They are solitary hunters active largely at night. Similar to other leopards they are great climbers and can usually be found in trees which they use to hunt and as resting places. Little is known about their breeding behavior but it is thought that they can mate year round. You can visit our clouded leopards on the Bamboo Trail.

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  • Cassowary Keeper Talk

    Mar 7th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Jungle Loop

    Double-wattled cassowaries are solitary birds that live in some of the oldest rainforests in the world known as the “wet tropics.” They are the second largest birds in the world after the ostrich. They can be distinguished by their helmet-like casque atop their head and red wattles on their neck.

    Cassowaries are important to the diversity of the rainforest. They consume over 78 different species of plants. Their poop helps to germinate new plants by spreading the seeds of the consumed plants. Female cassowaries will lay their eggs and leave the males to do all the incubating and raising of the chicks for up to 9 months. You can see our cassowaries across from Kangaroo Kickabout.

     

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    Mar 8th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Flamingo Lagoon
    Caribbean flamingos are one of 6 species of flamingos which can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. During breeding season they gather in colonies of 5,000 - 100,000 birds. After attracting a partner through an elaborate mating dance a pair of flamingos will begin to build a mud mound on which the female will lay her egg. Both males and females will help incubate the egg and they share responsibilities in caring for the chick.  Flamingos are born gray and do not get their pink feathers until 1-3 years of age. Their diet contains carotenoid pigments which will give them their characteristic pink color. Flamingos are filter feeders and hold their head upside down in shallow water to strain out their food. Flamingos very rarely lay down and even sleep standing up, often only on one leg. You can see our flamingos in Flamingo Lagoon.
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  • Siamang Keeper Talk

    Mar 8th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Commonly mistaken for monkeys, siamangs are actually the largest of the lesser ape species. Like all apes, they lack tails and have the ability to move bipedially on their back legs only. Siamangs spend most of their day in trees moving through a process called brachiation meaning they move from tree to tree using only their arms. Siamangs live in a family group consisting a breeding pair and their offspring. Females will give birth every 2-3 years. Siamangs have an enlarged throat sac which can swell to the size of their head to amplify their vocalizations you can hear throughout the zoo!
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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    Mar 8th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail

    Clouded leopards are the top predators in their range and help control populations of prey species. They are solitary hunters active largely at night. Similar to other leopards they are great climbers and can usually be found in trees which they use to hunt and as resting places. Little is known about their breeding behavior but it is thought that they can mate year round. You can visit our clouded leopards on the Bamboo Trail.

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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    Mar 8th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Baird’s tapirs are one of five species of tapirs. Four species live in Central and South America and one species lives in Asia. The upper lip of the tapir forms a proboscis similar to an elephant’s trunk.  This is used to help them collect their food as they browse. Tapirs are born brown with white stripes and spots to help with camouflage and turn solid brown with age. 
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  • Rhinoceros Hornbill Keeper Talk

    Mar 8th, 2016
    3:00pm - 3:15pm

    The rhinoceros hornbill is one of 54 species of hornbill that exist. The rhinoceros hornbill can be distinguished by its banana-shaped casque on the top of its beak. It is thought that this is used to amplify the sound of its call. It is made out of keratin, just like our fingernails and hair and is very strong and lightweight.

    Rhinoceros hornbills chose a nest high in a tree cavity. With The female inside a breeding pair works together to cover the opening with mud and scat, leaving only a small slit to pass food through. The female stays inside the nest for 3 months incubating and caring for the eggs. You can see our rhinoceros hornbill on Bamboo Trail.

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  • Hellbender Keeper Talk

    Mar 9th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Unseen New World

    The largest salamander in Tennessee, hellbenders can be found in the eastern two thirds of the state. Hellbender populations have gone through dramatic declines across their range over the last 20 years and are now a candidate species for endangered status listing. Hellbenders will spend their entire lives in water. They prefer cold fast moving water with high levels of oxygen due to the fact that 95% of their oxygen is absorbed through their skin. Their tiny eyes can detect light but are not very good at forming images. Hellbenders are solitary nocturnal animals who spend the daytime hiding under rocks. A meeting between two hellbenders will usually result in a fight between them. You can see our hellbenders in Unseen New World.

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  • Red Panda Keeper Talk

    Mar 9th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail
    The red pandas were once thought to be relatives of raccoons and bears but research has now put them in their own animal family Ailuridae. Red pandas are solitary and they rarely interact with another red panda outside of mating season. Breeding season is in the early winter with most births being in June. Similarly to their giant panda relatives red pandas have a wrist bone that acts like a thumb to help them grip bamboo. You can see our red pandas on Bamboo Trail.
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  • River Tank Feeding

    Mar 10th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World

    Some of the largest rivers on Earth travel through tropical rain forests. The Amazon has 1,100 tributaries, carries over 500 billion cubic feet of water per day, and has a mouth that is nearly 300 miles wide. Rivers that size have tremendous diversity within them and along their banks, including insects, reptiles, invertebrates, fish, and mammals.

    Within the river tanks in Unseen New World you can see some of this diversity including several species of cichlids. There are over 1600 species of cichlids making them one of the largest vertebrate families in the animal kingdom. You can spot Silver Arowana which can trace their ancestors back to dinosaurs from the Jurassic period. The white-blotched river stingray, one of the rarest in the world, is also visible in the river tanks. You can also spot some of the reptile diversity of tropical rivers such as the green basilisk which is known for its ability to run across water to escape danger. 

    Visiting the river tanks in Unseen New World allows you to get a small glimpse of the great diversity found in tropical rivers. 

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  • Aviary Keeper Talk

    Mar 10th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Unseen New World

    The Zoo’s tropical aviary is home to more than 10 species of birds native to Central America, South America and Africa. From ground level or a tree-top level mezzanine, guest can peer into a thick canopy of tropical foliage to spot birds like the black and yellow cacique and its gourd-shape nest or the endangered green woodhoopoe, one of the noisiest birds in the aviary. Closer examination of the aviary may also reveal two lizard species; the anole and the basilisk. The Zoo’s aviary is best accessed from inside the Unseen New World across from our display of frogs.

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  • Africa Field Keeper Talk

    Mar 10th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm

    Africa field is home to several species including Ostrich, Eland, Bontebok, and other antelope species. 

    The ostrich is the largest flightless bird in the world. They can run about 40 miles an hour covering 10-16 feet with a single stride. The ostrich will often use their wings as rudders to help change direction quickly while running. Ostriches will live in groups of about 12 birds. All the females of the group will place their eggs in the nest of the dominant female. A single ostrich egg is equivalent to 24 chicken eggs! Ostriches can often be found around other grazing animals like antelope and zebras. Ostriches have great eyesight and will often alert other animals of predators in the area. It is myth that ostriches head their heads in the sand. They will put their necks close to the ground to try and hide from predators, from a distance it appears that their head is in the sand.

    Eland are one of the largest hooved animals in the world. They are very adaptable animals with the ability to live in all environments except deserts, forests, and swamps. They are some of the slowest antelope, running only 25 miles per hour. Eland will live in herds of up to 25. There may be more than one male but only the dominant male will have access to females for breeding. Calves are born after a 9 month gestation period and hide after they are born for protection. 

    The bontebok was nearly extinct in the wild but the creation of Bontebok National Park and breeding on game farms led to the current population of over 2,000 existing throughout southern Africa. Their current conservation status includes the closely related blesbok of which 250,000 exist. They graze during the day on grasses in small groups of about 10. Males will mark their territory with dung and participate in challenge rituals with neighboring males. Both males and females will grow horns. 

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  • Rhino Iguana Keeper Talk

    Mar 11th, 2016
    9:30am - 9:45am
    Unseen New World
    The rhinoceros iguana gets its name from the bumps on its snout which are most pronounced on male iguanas.  Breeding will happen at 2 to 3 years of age with males using head bobs and their spines along their back to attract females.  Females will dig burrows to incubate the eggs, there is no parental care after the eggs hatch.  Rhinoceros iguanas are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day.  They spend their nights in rock crevices, caves, or burrows they have dug.  Rhinoceros iguanas are threatened by habitat destruction, invasive species, and illegal hunting.  You can see our iguanas inside Unseen New World.        
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  • Bat Keeper Talk

    Mar 11th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World

    Bats are the only mammals with wings that can fly.  Bats are very important to the ecosystems in which they live as they help to pollinate many of the plants that are found in each habitat.  The short-tailed leaf nose bats will enter into a state similar to hibernation called torpor when food is lacking.  They will roost in two distinct groups; harems with one adult male and several adult females, and bachelor groups of sub-adult males.  Mating can occur twice a year and females will give birth to one baby.  Short-tailed lead nose bats also love to eat mosquitoes!  You can thank them for that when you see them in the Unseen New World.   

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    Mar 11th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Flamingo Lagoon
    Caribbean flamingos are one of 6 species of flamingos which can be found on every continent except Australia and Antarctica. During breeding season they gather in colonies of 5,000 - 100,000 birds. After attracting a partner through an elaborate mating dance a pair of flamingos will begin to build a mud mound on which the female will lay her egg. Both males and females will help incubate the egg and they share responsibilities in caring for the chick.  Flamingos are born gray and do not get their pink feathers until 1-3 years of age. Their diet contains carotenoid pigments which will give them their characteristic pink color. Flamingos are filter feeders and hold their head upside down in shallow water to strain out their food. Flamingos very rarely lay down and even sleep standing up, often only on one leg. You can see our flamingos in Flamingo Lagoon.
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  • Red Ruffed Lemur Keeper Talk

    Mar 11th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Red-ruffed lemurs are 1 of more than 100 species of lemurs on the island of Madagascar. Lemurs are not monkeys but a type of primate called a prosimian. Red-ruffed lemurs will spend most of their day in the canopies of forests and they play an important role in pollination in their habitat. Red-ruffed lemurs are very vocal, with the ability to make more than 12 separate calls. These are used to warn others of predators, keep the group together while foraging, or to warn others that a space is already occupied. Listen for our red-ruffed lemurs Lyra and Larry on the Bamboo Trail.
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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    Mar 11th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:45pm
    Grassmere Historic Home and Farm

    Barns owls are the most widespread of any owl species and can be found in any habitat that meets their needs. As with other owls they swallow their prey whole and then cough up pellets which contain all the non-digestible parts of their prey such as bones and fur.

    Barn owls have great eyesight but they are renowned for their ability to hear extremely soft noises. A barn owl hunting in complete darkness can still locate and capture prey using sound alone. Barn owls have been known to nest in hollow trees and artificial nest boxes but earn their name by often taking up residence in old buildings such as abandoned barns and silos. You can see our barn owls at the Croft House barn.

     

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  • Yellow-backed Duiker Keeper Talk

    Mar 11th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Yellow-backed duikers are the largest of all 15 species of duiker.  Adult duikers have black coats with a white face.  The yellow hair begins to appear on their back at 5-9 months and will stand up when the duiker feels threatened or becomes agitated. Little is known about the behavior of yellow-backed duikers due to their shy nature and the thick forests they call home.  Duikers will be solitary or live in a monogamous pair.  They can breed anytime during the year and typically have offspring twice a year.  Young duikers are hidden by their mothers in underbrush for the first several weeks of their life for protection from predators.   Due to their size duikers have to forage for much the day.  While foraging, duikers need to lookout for painted dogs, lions, and leopards.  One of their main defenses is to dive into the underbrush to evade predators.   Yellow-backed duikers have large scent glands underneath their eyes and in between their toes which they rub on trees to mark their territory.  Duikers will also use these glands to rub on their mates during courtship, familiarize young with their parents scent, and males will rub them on other males during competition.   You can see our yellow backed duikers on Bamboo Trail.        
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  • Ring Tailed Lemur Keeper Talk

    Mar 12th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Bamboo Trail
    Ring-tailed lemurs live in southern areas of Madagascar in social groups of up to 25 members. These are mixed groups with males and females. Female ring-tailed lemurs are always dominant over males and there is one dominant female in each group. When the group travels together they will raise their long ringed tails to act as flags to locate other members of the group.  They will mark their territory by rubbing their scent glands on trees.  Breeding usually takes place between April-June with babies being born August-September.  Females will usually have 1-2 offspring. You can see our ring-tailed lemurs along the Bamboo Trail.
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Mar 12th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Farm Keeper Talk

    Mar 12th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:45pm

    Many different animals have lived at Grassmere since the house was built in 1810. Many of the animals that you will see at the Grassmere Historic Farm are “heritage breeds,” traditional livestock breeds raised by farmers of the past but whose numbers have since fallen.

    Cattle grazed over much of the land that is now Nashville Zoo and at the Grassmere Historic Farm you can see Belted Galloway cattle which originally came from Scotland. They are known for high quality meat and milk while consuming less feed. 

    Sheep were raised at Grassmere during the 1860’s and 1920s-1930s. On the farm you can currently see Cotswold Sheep which originated in England. These sheep produce “long wool” which is popular with wool spinners. 

    You can also see American Milking Devon cattle which are used for meat, milk, or farm work; barn owls; and a Clydesdale whose feet are the size of your dinner plate! 

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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    Mar 12th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Baird’s tapirs are one of five species of tapirs. Four species live in Central and South America and one species lives in Asia. The upper lip of the tapir forms a proboscis similar to an elephant’s trunk.  This is used to help them collect their food as they browse. Tapirs are born brown with white stripes and spots to help with camouflage and turn solid brown with age. 
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Mar 12th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Seahorse Keeper Talk

    Mar 13th, 2016
    9:45am - 10:00am
    Unseen New World
    The seahorse is one of the most unique looking fish found in the ocean. It has a prehensile tail used to hold on to sea grass and coral. Seahorses have a voracious appetite and will eat for up to 10 hours a day; consuming more than 3,000 crustaceans during that time. Seahorses are monogamous, and will usually have one mate during their lifetime. During a mating dance the female will pass eggs to the male. He will then hold the fertilized eggs in his pouch until they emerge about 20 days later as miniature versions of an adult. Juvenile seahorses will reach maturity in 8-10 months. Seahorses are at risk due to overfishing and habitat degradation. 
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    Mar 13th, 2016
    10:30am - 10:45am
    Critter Encounters

    These large ghost-like owls have white feathers to match their snowy arctic habitat. The males have mostly white feathers while females can also have brown or black markings. Snowy owls will usually breed in the arctic area of North America and Europe and migrate to warmer climates in the winter. Snowy owls like to spend the summer hunting in the nearly endless daylight of the arctic.

    Snowy owls build their nests on the ground and will return to the same site year after year. They fiercely protect this nest from other owls and even wolves! Females will lay up to 11 eggs which hatch about 32 days later. Snowy owls live to about 10 years of age.

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  • Meerkat Keeper Talk

    Mar 13th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Zoo Central
    Meerkats are small mammals related to the mongoose. They live in underground burrows with up to 40 meerkats in groups called mobs. This large social group is key to the meerkats survival. You will see at least one individual on “sentry duty” looking out for predators while others will spend time grooming and playing together to maintain their tight bond. Meerkats are made for digging and can excavate huge burrow systems with many different rooms that provide protection from predators. These burrows can have 15 entrances and they stay a constant cool temperature even in the hot African sun. Be on the lookout for our meerkats near Zoo Central.
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  • Red River Hog Keeper Talk

    Mar 13th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    African Savannah
    Red river hogs are very social animals who will live in groups of up to 20. Groups are usually made up of 1 adult male, several females, and their piglets. They are mostly active once the sun sets where they will use their shovel like snouts to dig up roots or bulbs to eat, though red river hogs will eat most anything they find. Female hogs will give birth to about 1-4 piglets. Male offspring are forced out of their group at about one year of age. Male red river hogs will fight by butting heads, whipping each other with their tails, and will fluff their facial hair when threatened. You can see our red river hogs on the African Savannah.
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    Mar 13th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Bamboo Trail
    Cougars, also known as pumas or mountain lions, are solitary animals mostly active at night. At one point, cougars had the largest range of any mammal in North and South America. With the increase in human population that range has shrunk to mostly mountainous regions of the western United States. Males will have a home range of about 150 square miles which will include several females. Cougars will not mate until they have their own territory and then breeding can take place year round. Females will have 1-6 cubs and breed every 2 years as cubs can remain with their mother for more than a year. Cougars can catch large prey which they can drag over 900 feet from the place of capture to feed. They often bury their kills to feed at a later time. You can see our two cougars along Jungle Trail.
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  • Dwarf Caiman Keeper Talk

    Mar 14th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Dwarf caiman are the smallest species of crocodile.  They like to live in flooded forests with clean and fast-flowing rivers in South America.  They will be found alone or in pairs.  Breeding can occur throughout the year depending on the habitat and the female will lay 10-25 eggs in a nest that was built.  The sex of the eggs are determined by the temperature of the nest during the incubation period.  The eggs hatch after a 90 day incubation and the young will stay with the mother for several weeks.  Dwarf caiman are mainly nocturnal, spending the day in a burrow while going out at night to hunt.  You can see our dwarf caiman in Unseen New World.        
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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    Mar 14th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home and Farm

    Barns owls are the most widespread of any owl species and can be found in any habitat that meets their needs. As with other owls they swallow their prey whole and then cough up pellets which contain all the non-digestible parts of their prey such as bones and fur.

    Barn owls have great eyesight but they are renowned for their ability to hear extremely soft noises. A barn owl hunting in complete darkness can still locate and capture prey using sound alone. Barn owls have been known to nest in hollow trees and artificial nest boxes but earn their name by often taking up residence in old buildings such as abandoned barns and silos. You can see our barn owls at the Croft House barn.

     

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  • White-cheeked Gibbon Keeper Talk

    Mar 14th, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Gibbon Islands
    Gibbons are not monkeys, but are considered lesser apes due in part to their lack of a tail and ability to walk bipedally on their back legs. Gibbons move through the trees by a process called brachiation which involves swinging using only their arms. Gibbons live in a family unit of an adult male and female and their offspring. The adult female is the dominant member of the group. White-cheeked gibbons are born blonde to camouflage with their mother and then turn black as juveniles. Females finally turn back to a blonde color at sexual maturity while the males stay black. You can see our gibbons on Gibbon Island near Entry Village. 
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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    Mar 14th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    Bamboo Trail

    Clouded leopards are the top predators in their range and help control populations of prey species. They are solitary hunters active largely at night. Similar to other leopards they are great climbers and can usually be found in trees which they use to hunt and as resting places. Little is known about their breeding behavior but it is thought that they can mate year round. You can visit our clouded leopards on the Bamboo Trail.

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  • Cassowary Keeper Talk

    Mar 14th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Jungle Loop

    Double-wattled cassowaries are solitary birds that live in some of the oldest rainforests in the world known as the “wet tropics.” They are the second largest birds in the world after the ostrich. They can be distinguished by their helmet-like casque atop their head and red wattles on their neck.

    Cassowaries are important to the diversity of the rainforest. They consume over 78 different species of plants. Their poop helps to germinate new plants by spreading the seeds of the consumed plants. Female cassowaries will lay their eggs and leave the males to do all the incubating and raising of the chicks for up to 9 months. You can see our cassowaries across from Kangaroo Kickabout.

     

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  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 19th, 2016
    10:00am - 11:15am

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

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  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 19th, 2016
    11:30am - Noon
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

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  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 19th, 2016
    Noon - 12:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

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  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 19th, 2016
    12:30pm - 1:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 19th, 2016
    1:00pm - 1:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Outbuilding Tour

    Mar 19th, 2016
    1:30pm - 2:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home
    TOUR LENGTH VARIES

    The Grassmere Historic Farm is much more than just the Historic Home. Learn more about how five generations lived and worked on the property.

    The outbuildings on the Historic Farm each have their own story and unique purpose. Visitors are invited to visit the carriage barn, gardens, kitchen, smokehouse, slave cabin, and cemetery. Tour starts at the kitchen building.

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  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 19th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 19th, 2016
    3:15pm - 4:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 20th, 2016
    10:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 20th, 2016
    11:30am - Noon
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 20th, 2016
    Noon - 12:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 20th, 2016
    12:30pm - 1:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 20th, 2016
    1:00pm - 1:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Outbuilding Tour

    Mar 20th, 2016
    1:30pm - 2:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home
    TOUR LENGTH VARIES

    The Grassmere Historic Farm is much more than just the Historic Home. Learn more about how five generations lived and worked on the property.

    The outbuildings on the Historic Farm each have their own story and unique purpose. Visitors are invited to visit the carriage barn, gardens, kitchen, smokehouse, slave cabin, and cemetery. Tour starts at the kitchen building.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 20th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 20th, 2016
    3:15pm - 4:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 21st, 2016
    10:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 21st, 2016
    11:30am - Noon
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 21st, 2016
    Noon - 12:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 21st, 2016
    12:30pm - 1:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 21st, 2016
    1:00pm - 1:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Outbuilding Tour

    Mar 21st, 2016
    1:30pm - 2:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home
    TOUR LENGTH VARIES

    The Grassmere Historic Farm is much more than just the Historic Home. Learn more about how five generations lived and worked on the property.

    The outbuildings on the Historic Farm each have their own story and unique purpose. Visitors are invited to visit the carriage barn, gardens, kitchen, smokehouse, slave cabin, and cemetery. Tour starts at the kitchen building.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 21st, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 21st, 2016
    3:15pm - 4:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 22nd, 2016
    10:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 22nd, 2016
    11:30am - Noon
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 22nd, 2016
    Noon - 12:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 22nd, 2016
    12:30pm - 1:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 22nd, 2016
    1:00pm - 1:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Outbuilding Tour

    Mar 22nd, 2016
    1:30pm - 2:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home
    TOUR LENGTH VARIES

    The Grassmere Historic Farm is much more than just the Historic Home. Learn more about how five generations lived and worked on the property.

    The outbuildings on the Historic Farm each have their own story and unique purpose. Visitors are invited to visit the carriage barn, gardens, kitchen, smokehouse, slave cabin, and cemetery. Tour starts at the kitchen building.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 22nd, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 22nd, 2016
    3:15pm - 4:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 23rd, 2016
    10:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 23rd, 2016
    11:30am - Noon
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 23rd, 2016
    Noon - 12:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 23rd, 2016
    12:30pm - 1:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 23rd, 2016
    1:00pm - 1:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Outbuilding Tour

    Mar 23rd, 2016
    1:30pm - 2:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home
    TOUR LENGTH VARIES

    The Grassmere Historic Farm is much more than just the Historic Home. Learn more about how five generations lived and worked on the property.

    The outbuildings on the Historic Farm each have their own story and unique purpose. Visitors are invited to visit the carriage barn, gardens, kitchen, smokehouse, slave cabin, and cemetery. Tour starts at the kitchen building.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 23rd, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 23rd, 2016
    3:15pm - 4:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 24th, 2016
    10:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 24th, 2016
    11:30am - Noon
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 24th, 2016
    Noon - 12:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 24th, 2016
    12:30pm - 1:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 24th, 2016
    1:00pm - 1:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Outbuilding Tour

    Mar 24th, 2016
    1:30pm - 2:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home
    TOUR LENGTH VARIES

    The Grassmere Historic Farm is much more than just the Historic Home. Learn more about how five generations lived and worked on the property.

    The outbuildings on the Historic Farm each have their own story and unique purpose. Visitors are invited to visit the carriage barn, gardens, kitchen, smokehouse, slave cabin, and cemetery. Tour starts at the kitchen building.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 24th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 24th, 2016
    3:15pm - 4:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 25th, 2016
    10:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 25th, 2016
    11:30am - Noon
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 25th, 2016
    Noon - 12:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 25th, 2016
    12:30pm - 1:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 25th, 2016
    1:00pm - 1:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Outbuilding Tour

    Mar 25th, 2016
    1:30pm - 2:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home
    TOUR LENGTH VARIES

    The Grassmere Historic Farm is much more than just the Historic Home. Learn more about how five generations lived and worked on the property.

    The outbuildings on the Historic Farm each have their own story and unique purpose. Visitors are invited to visit the carriage barn, gardens, kitchen, smokehouse, slave cabin, and cemetery. Tour starts at the kitchen building.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 25th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 25th, 2016
    3:15pm - 4:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Eggstravaganzoo

    Mar 26th, 2016
    9:00am - 4:00pm

    Hop into Spring at the Zoo's Eggstravaganzoo!

    Nashville Zoo’s annual spring celebration is back with egg hunts and Easter treats for children of all ages. Activities during the day include 10 scheduled egg hunts for kids, a Zoo-wide hunt for golden eggs, spring-themed games, bounce houses and face painting. Special appearances by the Easter Bunny and Zoo mascot Twiga!

    Activities take place from 9 am - 4 pm. Specific egg hunt schedules are to the right.

    New this year - Twiga’s Sweet Stroll. Wander through a candy-themed wonderland complete with costume characters, bubbles, and photo opportunities. Included in admission, donations toward conservation efforts appreciated

    Eggstravaganzoo (excluding Bunny Breakfast/Lunch) is included with your Zoo admission or membership.

    Hunt Schedule

    2 years & under - 10 am or 12:30 pm
    3 years - 10:30 am or 1 pm
    4 - 5 years - 11 am or 1:30 pm
    6 - 7 years - 11:30 am or 2 pm
    8 - 10 years - 12 pm or 2:30 pm


    Animal fun too!

    Between the kids' egg hunts, enjoy some of the animal fun we have planned for the day.




    Event Tips

    How to beat the traffic & get to the eggs quicker

    1. Arrive early Traffic around the Zoo is particularly heavy on this day. We recommend arriving at least one hour in advance of the scheduled hunt for your child's age group. Allow plenty of time to park and get to Festival Field.
    2. Additional Parking & Entrance We will open the back part of the Zoo for overflow parking if needed.
    3. Members get through the ticket booth quicker. Membership expiring soon? We strongly encourage you to renew online before heading to the Zoo. You can use your email confirmation to show proof of membership.

    During the event

    1. Pick up a schedule of events at the entrance. This will include times for all activities throughout the day.
    2. Don't forget the essentials. Egg basket/bag, camera and sunscreen.
    3. Missed the egg hunt for your age group? Younger children who miss their hunt may enter an older aged hunt, but older kids may not participate in lower age groups' hunts. Please only hunt once.
    4. It's not the number of eggs that matters. Every child receives a goodie bag regardless of the number of eggs collected. Redemption tents are adjacent to the egg hunt field.
    5. Spend more time with the Easter Bunny. Reserve your spot during our Bunny Breakfast or Bunny Lunch. See details and pricing below.

    Read our blog post full of more tips!



    Bunny Breakfast

    Start your Eggstravaganzoo day off right and beat the crowds as you are able to enter the Zoo starting at 8am. Bunny Breakfast includes morning favorites, the opportunity to meet and take pictures with the Easter Bunny, and a special gift for the kids.

    On the menu

    Waffles and toppings, bacon, scrambled eggs, fruit, muffins, donuts, coffee, hot chocolate, juice and water.

    Seating times

    8 am, 8:30 am, 9 am, 9:30 am
    (selected during registration)

    Register for Bunny Breakfast

    Pricing

    Member Adult - $20
    Member Child - $15
    Non-Member Adult* - $38
    Non-Member Child* - $28
    Children under age 2 - Free
    *Pricing includes Zoo admission, parking, 1 attraction ticket per person, and a souvenir for each registered child.

    Pre-registration is required.




    Bunny Lunch

    Join the Easter Bunny in the Bunny Café for a picnic lunch. Bunny Lunch includes a photo opportunity with the Easter Bunny and a special gift for the kids.

    On the menu

    Chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, salad, chips, fruit, cookies, brownies, soda and water.

    Seating times

    Open seating 11 am - 1 pm


    Register for Bunny Lunch

    Pricing

    Adults* - $20
    Children* - $15
    Children under age 2 - Free
    *Pricing includes 1 attraction ticket per person and a souvenir for each registered child. Pricing does not include Zoo admission or parking. No member discount is available.

    Pre-registration is required.




    Eggstravaganzoo Volunteers Needed!

    Sign up to volunteer at our festive spring event! We need help with the Bunny Breakfast, egg hunt, games, prize stations, bounce houses, registration and more! Volunteers must be age 18 and up. Groups are welcome but each member of the group must sign up individually themselves and indicate the group in the box provided. For more information, contact eggszoovolunteers@nashvillezoo.org.

    Sign up to volunteer
    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 26th, 2016
    10:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 26th, 2016
    11:30am - Noon
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 26th, 2016
    Noon - 12:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 26th, 2016
    12:30pm - 1:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 26th, 2016
    1:00pm - 1:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Outbuilding Tour

    Mar 26th, 2016
    1:30pm - 2:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home
    TOUR LENGTH VARIES

    The Grassmere Historic Farm is much more than just the Historic Home. Learn more about how five generations lived and worked on the property.

    The outbuildings on the Historic Farm each have their own story and unique purpose. Visitors are invited to visit the carriage barn, gardens, kitchen, smokehouse, slave cabin, and cemetery. Tour starts at the kitchen building.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 26th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 26th, 2016
    3:15pm - 4:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 27th, 2016
    10:00am - 11:15am
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 27th, 2016
    11:30am - Noon
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 27th, 2016
    Noon - 12:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Kid-Friendly Tour

    Mar 27th, 2016
    12:30pm - 1:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    While kids are invited to join any guided tour, these kid-friendly tours are shorter and focus on topics this age group may find interesting.

    These tours will give children a glimpse into the house's history and importance, and explain how the Grassmere property became the Nashville Zoo. Tours will include peeks into the Historic Home and artifact encounters.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 27th, 2016
    1:00pm - 1:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Outbuilding Tour

    Mar 27th, 2016
    1:30pm - 2:00pm
    Grassmere Historic Home
    TOUR LENGTH VARIES

    The Grassmere Historic Farm is much more than just the Historic Home. Learn more about how five generations lived and worked on the property.

    The outbuildings on the Historic Farm each have their own story and unique purpose. Visitors are invited to visit the carriage barn, gardens, kitchen, smokehouse, slave cabin, and cemetery. Tour starts at the kitchen building.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Tour

    Mar 27th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Take a step back in time to experience life in a Middle Tennessee farm home.

    Learn about the five generations of family members who occupied the home when it was built in 1810 to when the land was willed, eventually becoming Nashville Zoo. See original family artifacts, learn about the farm's connection to Cuba, and learn about the outbuildings that played a vital role in the history of the property.

    More Details
  • Historic Home Open House

    Mar 27th, 2016
    3:15pm - 4:30pm
    Grassmere Historic Home

    Do you want to visit the Grassmere Historic Home but do not have time to take a tour? Come to an open house and roam through the house on your own. Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.

    More Details
  • Week of the Young Child - Kickoff

    Apr 10th, 2016
    2:00pm - 5:00pm

    Nashville’s “Week of the Young Child” kicks off at Nashville Zoo.  Children 2 to 12 years of age will receive free admission after 2pm. Local organizations geared toward children will have booths set up throughout Entry Village with activities and information from 2pm-5pm.  

    More Details
  • Party for the Planet

    Apr 22nd, 2016
    9:00am - 2:00pm
    Nashville Zoo

    Nashville Zoo Host Party for the Planet!

    Join the Zoo in celebrating Earth Day on April 22! The Zoo's Festival Field will be filled with fun activities including special keeper talks, docent conservation tours, a recycled art contest, games, face painting and more. We will also have friends from local organizations onsite to share tips about living green and how to become involved.  

    Our neighbors from Croft Middle Prep have been working to complete animal conservation projects of their own design throughout the school year. As part of our Party for the Planet, students will be showcasing their completed projects for Zoo guests in the Jungle Terrace tent from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Students will be on-hand to discuss their projects and answer questions about the animals and habitats they have been researching. 

    Turn your recycling into artwork! Participate in Nashville Zoo’s Recycled Art Contest. 

    More Details
  • Autism Awareness Day

    Apr 24th, 2016
    Noon - 4:00pm

    NASHVILLE ZOO’S THIRD ANNUAL AUTISM AWARENESS DAY SET FOR APRIL 24!

    Nashville Zoo will hold its third annual Autism Awareness Day on Sunday, April 24 from noon – 4pm.

    Held in partnership with the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center’s Treatment and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders (TRIAD), Autism Awareness Day is included with Zoo admission or membership and offers family-oriented animal experiences and activities throughout the Zoo. Guests can participate in a zoo-wide scavenger hunt or sensory tour that will be available at the Croft House and may also have close encounters with animals from 1pm-3pm that day.

    Guests can visit staff on the lawn of the Grassmere Historic Home and Farm for information on the Zoo’s efforts to promote inclusion of audiences on the autism spectrum. 

    Those planning on attending the event are able to download support tools for guests on the autism spectrum such as visual schedules, social stories, and modified Zoo maps or guests can pick them up the day of the event. 

    More Details