American Oil Palm (Elaeis guineensis) – This species of palm is similar to the African variety that is threatening the natural habitats of orangutans and Sumatran tigers. Palm oil is found in many of the foods we eat: cookies, candies, crackers, etc. It’s also found in many household products: shampoos, cosmetics, etc. Because the demand for this crop is so high, the rainforests of Sumatra and Borneo have been cleared and turned into agriculture lands.
Coral Tree (Erythrina indica) – The coral tree is from the 3rd largest family of plants. It is native to Guam. Its seeds are buoyant and can be dispersed by the sea currents. The seeds are known as “sea beans!” The nectar of the coral tree is food for bridled white-eyes, fruit doves, and honey eaters, and some of these species call the Jungle home.
Aucuba or Spotted Laurel (Aucuba japonica) – This species is native to China, Taiwan and Japan. This plant will be used to feed the stick insects at the Zoo.
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) – This Polynesian tree produces a fruit that is a food staple throughout the tropics. The fruit can be roasted, fried, baked or broiled and tastes similar to freshly baked bread.
Animal Must Finds:
Green wood hoopoes (Phoeniculus purpuresu) - This species is very unique and distinct. They are cooperative cavity nesters, meaning one pair will nest but the rest of the flock will help raise the chicks, even if the birds are unrelated. Also…they smell! Wood hoopoes excrete an oil out of their preen gland that makes them smell bad to predators. It’s a useful defensive strategy!
Guam rail (Rallus owstoni) – The Sedgwick County Zoo has been an active participant in the recovery program of this species since the 80’s. However, this will be the first time they will have a permanent home in a public area of the Zoo.
Australian lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) – (Coming Soon) This species is a very rare fish to find in US collections. It is one of the oldest, most primitive fish on the planet. It is a true living fossil related to coelacanths.
While visiting the Tropics you have the opportunity to see birds from all over the globe. On your next visit try to find as many species as you can. Here are a few more tips to increase the number of species you can see.
Take your time, try to spend 10-15 minutes at each of our benches. This time allows you to be still and blend in with the surroundings. Once you are seated, the birds hardly know you are there and will continue on with their activities.
Walk quietly. Birds are easily frightened away from loud noises or commotion.
Come early and stay late. Some of the best times for viewing the Jungle birds are early in the day and late in the afternoon. During these times, birds are waking up to search for food or finding roosting spots for the night.
Bring a pair of binoculars. Many of our birds are great to look at with the naked eye, but when you take a closer look you may see details that you didn’t before. Also, the binoculars will help you view the birds from a greater distance.
Come to the building during our scheduled Catch-a-Keeper feeding time. Keepers feed the birds twice a day. Our birds are very active during feeding time and are more visible. Current Catch-a-Keeper Schedule>
Stop a keeper and ask questions. The bird keepers enjoy answering your questions or assisting you in locating a certain species that you may have missed.
Hours of Operation
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (March – October)
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (November – February)
*The Zoo will be closed one day only, September 9, 2017 to facilitate the preparation of the annual Zoo fundraiser, Zoobilee.