Upcoming Events

  • Rhino Iguana Keeper Talk

    May 27th, 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

    May 27th, 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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  • "Nashville Zoo Takes Flight" Macaw Encounter

    May 27th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:25am
    Starts near Amphitheater, ends near Critter Encounters

    See our macaws fly over 1/8 of a mile or nearly 700 feet from the back of the amphitheater to an area near Critter Encounters. Enjoy the beauty of their flight as they make their way on their own over visitors and through the trees to their landing branches. Upon landing you will get an opportunity to take photos and learn from their trainers all about these magnificent birds.Visitors can also enjoy a Macaw encounter at the end of its flight!

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    May 27th, 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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  • Animal Encounter (near Critter Encounters)

    May 27th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:55pm
    Along the pathway between Snakebites and Critter Encounters

    This Animal Encounter could include anything from birds of prey to porcupine to snakes and parrots. Small mammals like opossum and rabbit might also make an appearance! 

    Animal Encounters do not occur if it is raining.  There is still a chance you may catch us out during sprinkles though!  

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  • Barn Owl Keeper Talk

    May 27th, 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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  • Red Panda Keeper Talk

    May 27th, 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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  • Giraffe Keeper Talk

    May 27th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    There are at least six different types of giraffes. You can see two here at Nashville Zoo: Layla is a reticulated giraffe; and Congo, Margarita, and Bahati are Masai giraffes. Giraffes are the tallest of all land mammals. Giraffes have a neck that is 6 feet long and weighs 600 pounds. Their heart is 2 feet long and weighs 25 pounds. They eat about 75 pounds of food each day which they gather with their 18 inch long tongue. Due to this massive size giraffes do not really need to hide from predators, they do need to be worried about lions, but giraffes have a powerful kick that they will use to defend themselves. You can find our giraffes on the African Savannah.
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  • Yellow-backed Duiker Keeper Talk

    May 27th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    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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  • "Nashville Zoo Takes Flight" Macaw Encounter

    May 27th, 2016
    4:00pm - 4:25pm
    Starts near Amphitheater, ends near Critter Encounters

    See our macaws fly over 1/8 of a mile or nearly 700 feet from the back of the amphitheater to an area near Critter Encounters. Enjoy the beauty of their flight as they make their way on their own over visitors and through the trees to their landing branches. Upon landing you will get an opportunity to take photos and learn from their trainers all about these magnificent birds.Visitors can also enjoy a Macaw encounter at the end of its flight! 

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  • Zoovie Night, Presented by Southern 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:

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  • "Nashville Zoo Takes Flight" Macaw Encounter

    May 28th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:25am
    Starts near Amphitheater, ends near Critter Encounters

    See our macaws fly over 1/8 of a mile or nearly 700 feet from the back of the amphitheater to an area near Critter Encounters. Enjoy the beauty of their flight as they make their way on their own over visitors and through the trees to their landing branches. Upon landing you will get an opportunity to take photos and learn from their trainers all about these magnificent birds.Visitors can also enjoy a Macaw encounter at the end of its flight!

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  • "Wingin' It" Animal Show

    May 28th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:25am
    Amphitheater

    Come learn about the incredible feats birds overcome to survive. As they soar over your head you'll understand just how all of these birds wing it out in the wild!

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  • Galapagos Tortoise Keeper Talk

    May 28th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    Critter Encounters
    The Galapagos Tortoise is the world's largest tortoise and can only be found in the Galapagos Islands west of South America. The tortoises will spend the cooler parts of the day low on the islands where it is dry and grassy, as the day warms up the tortoises will head to higher elevations where the vegetation is more lush. They usually travel the same path to these locations and will wear a path in the ground. Breeding season is January through August and the female will lay up to 10 eggs. You can find our Galapagos Tortoises in Critter Encounters.
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  • Ring Tailed Lemur Keeper Talk

    May 28th, 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

    May 28th, 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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  • Alligator Feeding

    May 28th, 2016
    1:00pm - 1:15pm
    Alligator Cove
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  • Farm Keeper Talk

    May 28th, 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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  • Animal Encounter (near Critter Encounters)

    May 28th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:55pm
    Along the pathway between Snakebites and Critter Encounters

    This Animal Encounter could include anything from birds of prey to porcupine to snakes and parrots. Small mammals like opossum and rabbit might also make an appearance! 

    Animal Encounters do not occur if it is raining.  There is still a chance you may catch us out during sprinkles though!  

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  • Giraffe Keeper Talk

    May 28th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    There are at least six different types of giraffes. You can see two here at Nashville Zoo: Layla is a reticulated giraffe; and Congo, Margarita, and Bahati are Masai giraffes. Giraffes are the tallest of all land mammals. Giraffes have a neck that is 6 feet long and weighs 600 pounds. Their heart is 2 feet long and weighs 25 pounds. They eat about 75 pounds of food each day which they gather with their 18 inch long tongue. Due to this massive size giraffes do not really need to hide from predators, they do need to be worried about lions, but giraffes have a powerful kick that they will use to defend themselves. You can find our giraffes on the African Savannah.
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  • Cougar Keeper Talk

    May 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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  • "Destination Wild" Animal Show

    May 28th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:55pm
    Amphitheater

    Every species from flying predators to rain forest seed dispersers plays a critical role in the environment. Come meet some key players who keep nature in balance as we bring the wild to you!

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  • Tapir Keeper Talk

    May 28th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    Jungle Loop
    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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  • Zzzoofari Slumber - SOLD OUT

    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

    Activities 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.



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  • "Nashville Zoo Takes Flight" Macaw Encounter

    May 28th, 2016
    4:00pm - 4:25pm
    Starts near Amphitheater, ends near Critter Encounters

    See our macaws fly over 1/8 of a mile or nearly 700 feet from the back of the amphitheater to an area near Critter Encounters. Enjoy the beauty of their flight as they make their way on their own over visitors and through the trees to their landing branches. Upon landing you will get an opportunity to take photos and learn from their trainers all about these magnificent birds.Visitors can also enjoy a Macaw encounter at the end of its flight! 

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  • Seahorse Keeper Talk

    May 29th, 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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  • "Nashville Zoo Takes Flight" Macaw Encounter

    May 29th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:25am
    Starts near Amphitheater, ends near Critter Encounters

    See our macaws fly over 1/8 of a mile or nearly 700 feet from the back of the amphitheater to an area near Critter Encounters. Enjoy the beauty of their flight as they make their way on their own over visitors and through the trees to their landing branches. Upon landing you will get an opportunity to take photos and learn from their trainers all about these magnificent birds.Visitors can also enjoy a Macaw encounter at the end of its flight!

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  • Docent-led Walking Tour

    May 29th, 2016
    10:00am - 11:00am

    Each Thursday and Saturday at 10:30am docents lead guests on a tour of the Zoo. There is a limit of 25 people per tour (pre-registration is not required). Tours will meet between the amphitheater and ticket booth area. There are two themed tours for you to enjoy. (Duration: less than an hour)

    “NASHVILLE ZOO AROUND THE WORLD” TOUR
    THURSDAY AT 10AM

    Did you know Nashville Zoo is involved in conservation projects all around the world? On this tour you will learn more about how the Zoo helps clouded leopards in Thailand, crested toads in Puerto Rico, rhinoceros hornbills in Indonesia, African elephants and more.

    “WE ARE FAMILY” TOUR
    SATURDAY AT 10AM

    Many animals live in families or social groups just like we do. Animal families can be made up of just one or two parents, or even a large herd! This tour will teach you about the different strategies animals use when raising a family and the benefits animals get from living with their parents and adults.
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  • Snowy Owl Keeper Talk

    May 29th, 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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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    May 29th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    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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  • "Wingin' It" Animal Show

    May 29th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:25am
    Amphitheater

    Come learn about the incredible feats birds overcome to survive. As they soar over your head you'll understand just how all of these birds wing it out in the wild!

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  • Red Panda Keeper Talk

    May 29th, 2016
    11:00am - 11:15am
    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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  • Meerkat Keeper Talk

    May 29th, 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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  • Animal Encounter (near Critter Encounters)

    May 29th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:55pm
    Along the pathway between Snakebites and Critter Encounters

    This Animal Encounter could include anything from birds of prey to porcupine to snakes and parrots. Small mammals like opossum and rabbit might also make an appearance! 

    Animal Encounters do not occur if it is raining.  There is still a chance you may catch us out during sprinkles though!  

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  • Giraffe Keeper Talk

    May 29th, 2016
    2:00pm - 2:15pm
    There are at least six different types of giraffes. You can see two here at Nashville Zoo: Layla is a reticulated giraffe; and Congo, Margarita, and Bahati are Masai giraffes. Giraffes are the tallest of all land mammals. Giraffes have a neck that is 6 feet long and weighs 600 pounds. Their heart is 2 feet long and weighs 25 pounds. They eat about 75 pounds of food each day which they gather with their 18 inch long tongue. Due to this massive size giraffes do not really need to hide from predators, they do need to be worried about lions, but giraffes have a powerful kick that they will use to defend themselves. You can find our giraffes on the African Savannah.
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  • "Destination Wild" Animal Show

    May 29th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:55pm
    Amphitheater

    Every species from flying predators to rain forest seed dispersers plays a critical role in the environment. Come meet some key players who keep nature in balance as we bring the wild to you!

    More Details
  • Red River Hog Keeper Talk

    May 29th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    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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  • "Nashville Zoo Takes Flight" Macaw Encounter

    May 29th, 2016
    4:00pm - 4:25pm
    Starts near Amphitheater, ends near Critter Encounters

    See our macaws fly over 1/8 of a mile or nearly 700 feet from the back of the amphitheater to an area near Critter Encounters. Enjoy the beauty of their flight as they make their way on their own over visitors and through the trees to their landing branches. Upon landing you will get an opportunity to take photos and learn from their trainers all about these magnificent birds.Visitors can also enjoy a Macaw encounter at the end of its flight! 

    More Details
  • "Nashville Zoo Takes Flight" Macaw Encounter

    May 30th, 2016
    10:00am - 10:25am
    Starts near Amphitheater, ends near Critter Encounters

    See our macaws fly over 1/8 of a mile or nearly 700 feet from the back of the amphitheater to an area near Critter Encounters. Enjoy the beauty of their flight as they make their way on their own over visitors and through the trees to their landing branches. Upon landing you will get an opportunity to take photos and learn from their trainers all about these magnificent birds.Visitors can also enjoy a Macaw encounter at the end of its flight!

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  • Dwarf Caiman Keeper Talk

    May 30th, 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

    May 30th, 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

    May 30th, 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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  • Animal Encounter (near Critter Encounters)

    May 30th, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:55pm
    Along the pathway between Snakebites and Critter Encounters

    This Animal Encounter could include anything from birds of prey to porcupine to snakes and parrots. Small mammals like opossum and rabbit might also make an appearance! 

    Animal Encounters do not occur if it is raining.  There is still a chance you may catch us out during sprinkles though!  

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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    May 30th, 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

    May 30th, 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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  • Africa Field Keeper Talk

    May 30th, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm

    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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  • "Nashville Zoo Takes Flight" Macaw Encounter

    May 30th, 2016
    4:00pm - 4:25pm
    Starts near Amphitheater, ends near Critter Encounters

    See our macaws fly over 1/8 of a mile or nearly 700 feet from the back of the amphitheater to an area near Critter Encounters. Enjoy the beauty of their flight as they make their way on their own over visitors and through the trees to their landing branches. Upon landing you will get an opportunity to take photos and learn from their trainers all about these magnificent birds.Visitors can also enjoy a Macaw encounter at the end of its flight! 

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  • Tarantula Keeper Talk

    May 31st, 2016
    10:00am - 10:15am
    Unseen New World

    The Goliath Bird-eating Tarantula got its name from an explorer who spotted one eating a hummingbird, but their diet rarely consists of birds. Bird-eating tarantulas are the heaviest of all spiders and the second largest. They have inch long fangs which they use to infect venom into their prey. A bite would feel like a wasp sting to a human but it paralyzes its small prey. The tarantula then secretes digestive juices into its prey that turns its insides into liquid. Everything the tarantula eats must be in liquid form. Bird eating tarantulas do make webs, but they are not used to catch prey. They are used for shelter and protection. 50% of males are killed or injured during mating, which explains the dramatic difference in lifespans.

    You can see our Goliath Bird-eating Tarantula in Unseen New World.

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  • "Nashville Zoo Takes Flight" Macaw Encounter

    May 31st, 2016
    10:00am - 10:25am
    Starts near Amphitheater, ends near Critter Encounters

    See our macaws fly over 1/8 of a mile or nearly 700 feet from the back of the amphitheater to an area near Critter Encounters. Enjoy the beauty of their flight as they make their way on their own over visitors and through the trees to their landing branches. Upon landing you will get an opportunity to take photos and learn from their trainers all about these magnificent birds.Visitors can also enjoy a Macaw encounter at the end of its flight!

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  • Flamingo Keeper Talk

    May 31st, 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

    May 31st, 2016
    11:30am - 11:45am
    Gibbon Islands
    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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  • Animal Encounter (near Critter Encounters)

    May 31st, 2016
    1:30pm - 1:55pm
    Along the pathway between Snakebites and Critter Encounters

    This Animal Encounter could include anything from birds of prey to porcupine to snakes and parrots. Small mammals like opossum and rabbit might also make an appearance! 

    Animal Encounters do not occur if it is raining.  There is still a chance you may catch us out during sprinkles though!  

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  • Clouded Leopard Talk

    May 31st, 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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  • Yellow-backed Duiker Keeper Talk

    May 31st, 2016
    2:30pm - 2:45pm
    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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  • Rhinoceros Hornbill Keeper Talk

    May 31st, 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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  • "Nashville Zoo Takes Flight" Macaw Encounter

    May 31st, 2016
    4:00pm - 4:25pm
    Starts near Amphitheater, ends near Critter Encounters

    See our macaws fly over 1/8 of a mile or nearly 700 feet from the back of the amphitheater to an area near Critter Encounters. Enjoy the beauty of their flight as they make their way on their own over visitors and through the trees to their landing branches. Upon landing you will get an opportunity to take photos and learn from their trainers all about these magnificent birds.Visitors can also enjoy a Macaw encounter at the end of its flight! 

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