Upcoming Events

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.

    More Details
  • 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.

    More Details
  • 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.

    More Details
  • 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
  • 24th Annual Golf Classic

    May 2nd, 2016
    11:30am - 6:00pm
    Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs

    Join Nashville Zoo for our 24th Annual Golf Classic on Monday, May 2.

    Putting contest and driving range open at 11:30 a.m. and the tournament commences at 1:00 p.m. Once again the tournament takes place at the beautiful and prestigious Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.

    Your participation in the Golf Classic not only supports Nashville Zoo – our animals, education programs and conservation efforts – but also includes:

    • Green Fees
    • Caddy for the afternoon - one caddy per foursome
    • Lunch served at noon
    • Beer on the course
    • Course contests
    • Awards reception with prizes and snacks

    Join Golf Tournament Co-Chairs Richard Patton, Breck Walker and Will Fitzgibbon for an afternoon of golf and fun while supporting your Nashville Zoo!


    Registration

    Fees:
    $400 per player
    $1,600 per team


    Register

    Register



    Sponsorships

    Sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact Amy Colton at development@nashvillezoo.org for more information.




    Sponsored by:

    The Crichton Group | Hannah Constructors | Premier Parking | Service Systems Associates

    Frugal MacDoogal | Edley’s Bar-b-que | Freshpoint Tomato | Brand Imaging | DTZ | Dex Imaging | Paycor | EFT Source | JLL | Bloomin’ Brands | Sport Seasons | White Bridge Auto Wash



    More Details
  • Zoovie Night, Presented by Icee

    May 27th, 2016
    6:00pm - 10:00pm

    Join us for a fun family night under the stars!

    Zoovie Nights include games, inflatables, music, crafts and after-hour access to the carousel and zipline! When the sun goes down the evening’s feature film will play on a large inflatable screen, so pack a blanket and head to the Zoo!


    Movies

    • May 27: Minions
    • June 24: Kung Fu Panda
    • Sept. 2: How to Train Your Dragon 2

    Zoovie Cost

    Members - Free
    Non-Members - Included with day-of admission, OR $6 per person if entering after 6pm

    Event Schedule

    6 PM - Sunset

    Inflatables, DJ and games on Festival Field
    Face painting, crafts and concessions*
    Carousel and zipline open*
    *additional fees apply

    Sunset - Movie time!


    Inclement Weather

    In the case of inclement weather, please check the Zoo's Facebook page for up-to-date information. Weather-influenced cancellations will be made by 4:30pm on the day-of the event.


    Please note that Zoo animal trails will close at 6 pm and guests must stay in Festival Field area after Zoo closing time.




    Sponsored by:

    More Details
  • Zzzoofari Slumber

    Start: May 28, 2016
    4:00pm
    End: May 29, 2016
    9:00am

    Join us for a unique camping experience as you sleep under the stars just a short distance away from the snoozing animals.

    Zzzoofari Slumber is an overnight camp session for families and escorted children. Recommended for kids ages 4 - 12 years old. Enjoy a variety of activities during the evening and a full breakfast the next morning.


    Schedule of Activities

    • 4 - 6 pm - Crafts and Tent Set-up
    • 6 - 7:30 pm - Jungle Gym, Wild Animal Carousel, Soaring Eagle Zipline, Hayride, and Nashville Stars Animal Show (starts at 7pm)
    • 7:30 - 9:30 pm - Corn hole, inflatables, and campfire with hot dog and marshmallow roast

    Enjoy a variety of activities that include hayrides, carousel and zipline rides (until 7pm), inflatables, an animal show, crafts, evening hot dog and marshmallow roast and a full breakfast in the morning.


    Packing list:

    • Tent
    • Sleeping bags, Pillows & Blankets
    • Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste etc..)
    • Flashlight/ Battery powered lantern
    Recommended/Suggested Items:
    • Dinner Food/Snacks (to supplement the hot dog and marshmallow roast)
    • Camp chair or blanket
    • Musical instruments (any of you aspiring musicians out there are welcome to play or sing a little ditty around the campfire!)


    Pricing

    Members (age 4+) - $38
    Non-Members (age 4+) - $55
    Toddlers (age 2-4) - $15
    Groups of 8+ $30/each

    Pricing includes souvenir gift for registered children.

    More Details
  • Brew at the Zoo, presented by ML Rose

    Jun 3rd, 2016
    6:30pm - 11:00pm

    BREW AT THE ZOO ON TAP FOR June 3!

    Nashville Zoo welcomes all species of beer lovers to the fifth annual Brew at the Zoo happening on Friday, June 3 from 6:30pm to 11pm.

    Animals, live music, local food trucks and 100 craft beers are on tap at this unique after-hours event voted the 2014 best beer event in Nashville by Nashville Scene.



    TICKET TYPES & DETAILS

    GENERAL ADMISSION - $60 SOLD OUT

    • Includes commemorative tasting glass and unlimited 2oz samples from all participating craft breweries.
    • Includes half price admission to the Zoo in the month of June. You must have your ticket stub to receive discount.

    VIP ADMISSION - $100 SOLD OUT

    • Everything included in General Admission
    • Food pairings
    • Free access to the Conservation Lounge
    • Unlimited rides

    DESIGNATED DRIVER TICKET - $20

    • You must still be 21+.
    • You will not receive a tasting glass. You will receive a water and snack voucher.
    • Includes half price admission to the Zoo in the month of June. You must have your ticket stub to receive discount.

    ADD ON CONSERVATION LOUNGE ACCESS - $12/ADVANCE OR $15/AT DOOR
    • Get access to this swanky lounge complete with an oxygen bar, lounge seating, games, belly dancing, door prizes and much more.
    • Door prizes include gift cards to local entertainment venues, restaurants, hotels, and much more.
    • All proceeds go toward conservation field work.
    • Limited access will be given so reserve your spot in advance.

    Add the Conservation Lounge to your experience



    breweries

    • Back Forty
    • Black Abbey
    • Blackstone
    • Blue Moon
    • Blue Pants
    • Carsons
    • Cool Springs Brewery
    • Corsair Brewery
    • Crispin Cider
    • Czann's Brewing
    • Dogfish Head
    • Fat Bottom Brewery
    • Finch's Beer Company
    • Founders Brewing Co.
    • Good People Brewing Co.
    • Goose Island
    • Jackalope Brewing Co.
    • Lagunitas
    • Little Harpeth Brewing
    • McKenzies Cider
    • New Belgium
    • Oskar Blues Brewery
    • Red Hare
    • Red Hook
    • Rivertown
    • Sam Adams
    • Schafly
    • Southern Prohibition
    • Starr Hill Brewery
    • Stiegl
    • Stone Brewery
    • Straight to Ale
    • Sweetwater
    • Tin Man Brewing
    • TN Brew Works
    • Turtle Anarchy
    • Vermont Hard Cider
    • Widmer
    • Wiseacre
    • Woodchuck Cider
    • Yazoo

    food

    • AL Fresh Co
    • Crepe A Diem Food Truck
    • DegThai
    • Funk Seoul Brother
    • Hoss' Loaded Burgers
    • King Tut's Food Truck
    • Music City Pie Company
    • Riffs Fine Street Food
    • Smoke Et AL
    • Steaming Goat Food Truck
    • The Grilled Cheeserie
    • Yayo's OMG

    wineries

    • American Estates Randall Phillips
    • Banks Channel
    • Cannon Wines


    event rules

    • This event is ages 21+ only, no exceptions. Children are not permitted.
    • No public urination – if found in the bushes you will be removed.
    • No weapons of any kind.
    • No illegal substances.
    • Smoking (including vaping) is only permitted in a designated area, which will be noted on the festival map. Please do not smoke anywhere else. If found smoking in other areas, you will be asked to leave.
    • No bags or backpacks. Small purses are allowed.
    • No outside food or beverages. Water will be provided. Empty reusable water bottles are permitted.
    • No pets.
    • Please respect yourself, your fellow Brew patrons and the Zoo property.

    travel information

    Be responsible. Don’t drink and drive.
    • Free shuttle service will be provided. Details coming soon. You will be able to select which shuttle you would like to ride when you purchase your ticket. Reserve your spot when purchasing your tickets.
    • Parking at Nashville Zoo will be FREE starting at 6pm. Please remember that parking is free during the event, but if you leave your car overnight it must be removed from the Zoo between 6am and 9am to avoid a $10 fee.

    Presented By:



    More Details
  • Bugs, Biomes and Badges Girl Scout Campout

    Start: Jun 4, 2016
    4:30pm
    End: Jun 5, 2016
    9:00am
    Nashville Zoo

    Join us at Nashville Zoo for a truly WILD Girl Scout Campout Experience!

    Girl Scout Campout registration will close on Friday, May 27, 2016.

    This evening of fun, friends and learning is designed for Brownies and Juniors.


    Badges:

    Brownies will be able to earn Bug badge
    Juniors will be able to earn the Animal Habitats badge.


    Itinerary:

    Saturday
    • After check-in Juniors and Brownies will split up to participate in the Badge Stations set up around festival field and in the Jungle Terrace.
    • After completing activity stations scouts will go to Amphitheater for the Animal Presentation.
    • The evening ends at the campfire on festival field with marshmallows.
    Sunday
    • In the morning a breakfast is served and tents will be broken down.
    • Program fee includes admission to the zoo on Sunday.

    Cost of Program:

    $35 per scout
    $35 for adults
    Includes admission to the Zoo on Sunday.

    Register

    Campout includes:

    • Overnight camping in your own tent on Festival Field
    • Admission to the Zoo on Sunday
    • Marshmallows
    • Two Campfires
    • An all inclusive breakfast of scrambled eggs, ham, toast, milk and coffee

    Additional Information

    Saturday night check-in starts at 4:30 p.m. with program starting at 6 p.m. Check-out 9 a.m. Troops have admission to the Zoo on Sunday. Participants will need to eat dinner before program starts.

    More Details
  • June Member Night

    Jun 10th, 2016
    6:00pm - 8:00pm

    Join us on these special evenings as the Zoo stays open late for an exclusive Members-Only event. Most animal habitats will be open with keepers or docents stationed and ready to chat with you. Additional activities and animal encounters are in the works!


    Event Timeline

    6 - 7:45 pm
    FREE Wild Animal Carousel rides
    FREE Train rides
    FREE Inflatable play area
    (children 12 & under)

    Soaring Eagle Zip Line will be available for rides at the normal ticket rate during the event.

    Zoofari Cafe reopens at 5:30 pm for members who want to grab dinner before the event.

    going green

    Recycling bins will be available at Member Night, so please bring in any recyclable batteries, old cellphones, CFL bulbs, and aluminum cans you may have at home. Our Green Team will gladly take them off your hands!

    Other Event Benefits

    10% Member discount at ZooFari Café
    50% Member discount on event tickets for additional guests
    (Guests listed on card are free.)


    Member Nights are strictly a privilege for Nashville Zoo members. For more information, email membership@nashvillezoo.org or become a member now!




    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are all activities available for the entire event?

    No, most of the open exhibits for the event will close at 7:30 p.m., some earlier. The evening's Keeper Experiences are listed in the schedule of events that you will receive along with your wristband for times, locations and topics. Carousel rides, train rides and other activities will close at 7:45 p.m. The animal presentation (7:30 p.m.) closes the evening. We recommend arriving between 5:30 - 5:45 p.m. to check out the schedule and have time to get to the first keeper chats if desired. 6 - 7:45 p.m.


    Are guests allowed?

    Yes, if you have a guest option on your card [indicated by GUEST on the back of the card] you may feel free to use it. This is a great way to show others how wonderful your Zoo membership is.


    What about bringing more guests than my card allows?

    Additional Member Night Event guest tickets may be purchased at the Ticket Booth at a special 50% rate* per person. These admissions may only be purchased by a current member, after 5 p.m.on the event date. Admission paid earlier in the day will not apply for the event.
    * $7.50 adult/teen, $5 child 2-12, $6.50 senior.


    Are reservations required?

    No, however, we will issue event wristbands to ensure that the Zoo may be cleared of all non-event visitors. Wristbands may be obtained at the Information Hut as you enter.


    What about food?

    The ZooFari Cafe will remain open until 7:30 p.m., serving a selection of menu items. You may also choose to eat before arriving or bring a snack to enjoy as you walk.


    May we attend more than one Member Night?

    Absolutely.


    What if it rains?

    In the event that severe weather causes Member Night to be cancelled, every attempt will be made to post this on the membership line (615-833-1534 ext. 125), Zoo's website and Facebook page by 4 p.m. The event is typically "called" if heavy rain or lightning occur during the event. We are unable to reschedule the event.


    More Details
  • Make Music Nashville

    Jun 21st, 2016
    9:00am - 5:00pm

    Nashville Zoo is once again taking part in Make Music Nashville! Make Music Nashville is an all-day festival taking place in various neighborhoods in Nashville, Tennessee on June 21st every year. Join us up at the Grassmere Historic Home and you can listen to various acts perform and even join in on a Harmonica Jam!


    PRICING:

    Free for members. Included in admission.


    SCHEDULE:

    Historic Home Lawn:

    1pm – 2pm: Howard Pink Musical Jungle
    Description: Howard Pink and His Musical Garden Hoses: Everything you ever wanted to know about the French horn but were afraid to ask.

    2pm – 3pm: Make Music Nashville presents Harmonica Jam at the Zoo
    Description: Join us at Nashville Zoo’s Grassmere Historic Home for free harmonica lessons by Nashville’s Greg Hommert and harmonicas donated by Hohner! Harmonicas only available to first 100 children.

    Historic Home Entrance:

    1pm – 2pm: Vladopus9
    Description: Vladopus9 is the all original acoustic Folk/Americana (female vocalist and male acoustic guitarist) duo from here in Nashville.

    2:15pm – 3pm: The Busks
    Description: The Busks are a throwback Rock & Roll group with influences from classic 60s artists such as The Beatles, The Kinks, The Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel and more.

    3:15pm – 4pm: Courtney Dickinson**TENTATIVE**
    Description: Fiery is a clear description of both the sound and personality of Courtney Dickinson. Courtney plans to add her own fiery flavor to Country Music and make a place for "a female with a message" and introduce herself as the "new redhead in town!"

    More Details
  • Zoovie Night, Presented by Icee

    Jun 24th, 2016
    6:00pm - 10:00pm

    Join us for a fun family night under the stars!

    Zoovie Nights include games, inflatables, music, crafts and after-hour access to the carousel and zipline! When the sun goes down the evening’s feature film will play on a large inflatable screen, so pack a blanket and head to the Zoo!


    Movies

    • May 27: Minions
    • June 24: Kung Fu Panda
    • Sept. 2: How to Train Your Dragon 2

    Zoovie Cost

    Members - Free
    Non-Members - Included with day-of admission, OR $6 per person if entering after 6pm

    Event Schedule

    6 PM - Sunset

    Inflatables, DJ and games on Festival Field
    Face painting, crafts and concessions*
    Carousel and zipline open*
    *additional fees apply

    Sunset - Movie time!


    Inclement Weather

    In the case of inclement weather, please check the Zoo's Facebook page for up-to-date information. Weather-influenced cancellations will be made by 4:30pm on the day-of the event.


    Please note that Zoo animal trails will close at 6 pm and guests must stay in Festival Field area after Zoo closing time.




    Sponsored by:

    More Details
  • Avian Awareness Day

    Jun 26th, 2016
    10:00am - 3:00pm

    Nashville Zoo’s Birds Get All the Attention on June 26

    Nashville Zoo will spotlight its feathered residents during Avian Awareness Day on Sunday, June 26. From 10am - 3pm Zoo guests can participate in activities that focus on the importance of birds throughout the world, Nashville Zoo avian conservation projects and how you can help birds in your own backyard.  

    Avian Awareness Day highlights the journey of migratory birds as they make passage between their breeding grounds in North America and their wintering grounds in Central and South America. Educational stations will be set up throughout the Zoo that explore how birds navigate their way through various daily and annual challenges, and both kids and adults can enjoy comparing their “wing spans” to our feathered friends. Other activities include egg and feather displays, keeper talks and docent stations at many of our bird exhibits.

    Other activities include Macaw flights at 10am and 4pm,  a bird themed show at the Amphitheater at 11am and a bird encounter at 1:30pm. Animal Ambassador staff will be out on the trial throughout the day with various birds. 

    Avian Awareness Day celebrates International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), an event founded in 1993 by a coalition of bird-minded organizations that recognized the need for a unified focus on the conservation of migratory birds. Zoos across the country celebrate IMBD, raising awareness for the nearly 350 species that travel between nesting habitats and non-breeding habitats each year. 

    Avian Awareness Day is free with Zoo admission or membership.

    More Details
  • Red, White & Zoo

    Jul 8th, 2016
    7:00pm - 10:00pm

    Join us for Red, White and Zoo, our inaugural wine tasting event. Experience the Zoo’s exotic habitats while enjoying wine from around the world. This is an adults-only evening fundraiser, guests under age 21 are not permitted.

    Red, White and Zoo includes:

    • Unlimited wine tastings
    • Commemorative glass
    • Additional food available for purchase
    • Live music
    • Animals out until dusk
    • Animal encounters 

    Pricing

    $65/person
    $120/pair
    $20/DD




  • AIAS
  • Bread and Butter
  • Cannon Wines
  • Cannonball
  • Des Amis
  • Domaine De La Motte
  • Domaine Del Sol
  • Domaine St. George
  • Don and Sones Sivas Sonoma
  • Fairvalley
  • Hey Mambo
  • High Def
  • Imperial Reserve
  • Imperial
  • Manifesto
  • Moo Buzz
  • Pennywise
  • Plunger Head
  • Puerto Viejo
  • Repeat
  • Simple Life
  • State of Art
  • Terrisson
  • Tog Leese Fitch
  • Villa Puccini
  • White Knight
  • More Details
  • July Member Night

    Jul 15th, 2016
    6:00pm - 8:00pm

    Join us on these special evenings as the Zoo stays open late for an exclusive Members-Only event. Most animal habitats will be open with keepers or docents stationed and ready to chat with you. Additional activities and animal encounters are in the works!


    Event Timeline

    6 - 7:45 pm
    FREE Wild Animal Carousel rides
    FREE Train rides
    FREE Inflatable play area
    (children 12 & under)

    Soaring Eagle Zip Line will be available for rides at the normal ticket rate during the event.

    Zoofari Cafe reopens at 5:30 pm for members who want to grab dinner before the event.

    going green

    Recycling bins will be available at Member Night, so please bring in any recyclable batteries, old cellphones, CFL bulbs, and aluminum cans you may have at home. Our Green Team will gladly take them off your hands!

    Other Event Benefits

    10% Member discount at ZooFari Café
    50% Member discount on event tickets for additional guests
    (Guests listed on card are free.)


    Member Nights are strictly a privilege for Nashville Zoo members. For more information, email membership@nashvillezoo.org or become a member now!




    Frequently Asked Questions

    Are all activities available for the entire event?

    No, most of the open exhibits for the event will close at 7:30 p.m., some earlier. The evening's Keeper Experiences are listed in the schedule of events that you will receive along with your wristband for times, locations and topics. Carousel rides, train rides and other activities will close at 7:45 p.m. The animal presentation (7:30 p.m.) closes the evening. We recommend arriving between 5:30 - 5:45 p.m. to check out the schedule and have time to get to the first keeper chats if desired. 6 - 7:45 p.m.


    Are guests allowed?

    Yes, if you have a guest option on your card [indicated by GUEST on the back of the card] you may feel free to use it. This is a great way to show others how wonderful your Zoo membership is.


    What about bringing more guests than my card allows?

    Additional Member Night Event guest tickets may be purchased at the Ticket Booth at a special 50% rate* per person. These admissions may only be purchased by a current member, after 5 p.m.on the event date. Admission paid earlier in the day will not apply for the event.
    * $7.50 adult/teen, $5 child 2-12, $6.50 senior.


    Are reservations required?

    No, however, we will issue event wristbands to ensure that the Zoo may be cleared of all non-event visitors. Wristbands may be obtained at the Information Hut as you enter.


    What about food?

    The ZooFari Cafe will remain open until 7:30 p.m., serving a selection of menu items. You may also choose to eat before arriving or bring a snack to enjoy as you walk.


    May we attend more than one Member Night?

    Absolutely.


    What if it rains?

    In the event that severe weather causes Member Night to be cancelled, every attempt will be made to post this on the membership line (615-833-1534 ext. 125), Zoo's website and Facebook page by 4 p.m. The event is typically "called" if heavy rain or lightning occur during the event. We are unable to reschedule the event.


    More Details
  • Ice Day, presented by Icee

    Jul 23rd, 2016
    9:00am - 4:00pm

    COOL OFF AT NASHVILLE ZOO’S ICE DAY!

    Looking for a chilly place to pass the “dog days of summer?” Come to Nashville Zoo and chill out with the animals. This annual “cool down” event is back this summer with cool activities and icy treats for both guests and animals.

    ICEE Ice Day takes place Saturday, July 23 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Lots of fun activities including ice cream eating contests and an inflatable water slide. 

    ICEE Ice Day is included with Zoo admission or membership; however some activities have additional fees.


    Ultimate Ice Cream Eating Contest*

    12:30 pm – Ages 8 – 12
    12:45 pm – Ages 8 – 12
    1:00 pm – Ages 13 – 18
    1:15 pm – Ages 19+
    1:30 pm – Ages 19+

    *Registration on day of event on a first-come, first-serve basis. Limit 20 per contest.


    Sponsored by

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