Blank Park Zoo, Iowa

Blank Park Zoo – Iowa


Blank Park Zoo is in Des Moines, Iowa


Northern Lynx (Lynx lynx wrangeli) – Russia, from Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.  The Lynx is a solitary cat except during mating season.  They are excellent tree-climbers.  Notice the long, black ear tufts.  They help the Lynx to hear even better.  The thick fur on their feet enables this cat to stalk their prey through the snow in silence. There are black spots and stripes on the fur.  The short tail has a black tip.  They are from 30 to 40 inches long and weigh anywhere from 10 to 40 pounds.


Two-Toed Sloth (Choloepus didactylus) – Northern South America: Eastern Venezuela, Guiana, Peru and Brazil.  The Sloth spends much of it’s time in trees in the rainforest.  They are excellent at hanging upside down with their strong arms.They seldom come down to the ground except maybe once a week. There are two hooked claws on the front feet and three claws on the back feet.   Their metabolism is very slow and they live on very little food since they don’t expend very much energy in life.  The fur curves in the opposite direction of other mammals.


Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae) – Australia.  These colorful birds live along the coast in Australia in flocks.


Gouldian Finch


The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) – North America.  On June 20, 1782. The Bald Eagle became the National bird of the United States.
Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) – Sub-Saharan Africa.  This baby Giraffe was just over a month old.  Giraffes breed any time of the year and give birth after 15 months gestation.The female gives birth standing up and the baby is already around 6 feet tall when born.  They stand up shortly after birth within 20 minutes.  The young Giraffe will nurse for over a year, but will eat leaves within a few weeks.


Mother and baby Giraffe.


Common Zebra (Equus burchelli) – Africa.  The Zebra’s stripes are like fingerprints.  Each pattern is absolutely different.  The Common Zebra has stripes that extend around the belly area.  When the herd of Zebra are together, the stripes provide excellent camouflage for protection.The herd usually has a stallion, mares and their foals, along with a bachelor group.  They can weigh up to 600 pounds. Their legs are strong with hard, single hooves.  There are five different subspecies in the Zebra family.  The Common Zebra is medium-sized and grazes on short grass, leaves and shoots.  The male has a loud barking bray to communicate with the herd.


Tiger Salamander


Yellow and Blue Poison Dart Frog


Blue Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates azureus)
Panamanian Golden Frog (Atelopus varius zeteki)

Panamanian Golden Frog

Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) – Northern China.  The Amur Tiger is also referred to as the Siberian Tiger.  They are the largest cat in the world.  They can weight as much as 660 pounds and are about nine and a half feet long.  They are solitary cats except when breeding.


Lion (Panthera leo) – Africa and South Asia.  Lions are the most sociable cat, living in “prides”.  The pride often will hunt together, surrounding their prey and attacking cooperatively.  The males usually let the female lionesses do the hunting, but they always get first pickings.  Their usual color is tawny-yellow, but can vary either lighter or darker.  A lion’s roar can be heard four or five miles away.  After a four month gestation period, the lioness give birth to three or four cubs.  The cubs are born blind and weigh about three pounds.


Dromedary Baby Camel (Camelus dromedarius) – North and East Africa, West and South Asia.  Dromedary camels have one hump on their back where fat is stored.  The upper lip has a deep cleft and is very flexible.  The female gives birth after 13 months while standing.  The camel can survive for several months without water
Magellan Penguins with babies (Spheniscus magellanicus) – South America in Argentina and the Falkland Islands.  These Penguins are found in warm climate rather than cold as most penguins.


Emu (Dromalus novaehollandiae) – Australia.  Emus are the second largest flightless birds in the world.  They have long, powerful legs that have three toes on each foot.  When running, they can reach up to 30 miles per hour, but only in short spurts.  The Emu’s feathers are unique.  The secondary shaft that grows from the base of the feather is equal in length to the primary shaft, whereas in most birds, the secondary shaft cannot be seen.  Unlike most birds, the male raises the family.  The female lays up to 15 large green eggs on the ground.  The male will incubate the eggs for about eight weeks.  He will sit on the eggs without any food or water.  The chicks will eat with the male and grow quickly and can weigh 100 pounds in just five months time.  The chicks will stay with the male for about a year.


Serval (Felis serval) – West, Central and East Africa.  The Serval has a slim body and long legs. They have large, rounded ears that have black on the upper portion with a white patch in the middle.  Their hearing is remarkable, enabling them to hear their prey before seeing it.  The Serval can leap extremely high, ten to 13 feet in the air, in order to catch it’s prey.  There are black stripes on the back of the head, with black spots on their back,


Red-Necked Wallaby (Macropus rufogriseus) – Southern Australia.  Wallabies are marsupials or “pouched” mammals.They are in the Kangaroo family.  They occupy the eucalyptus forest and fields in southern Australia.  They graze on grasses and herbs at night in large groups called “mobs”.  Baby Wallabies are called “Joey”.  When the “Joey” is less than an inch long, it pulls itself from the birth canal to it’s mothers pouch.  When it arrives at the pouch, it begins nursing.  Young Wallabies stay in the mother’s pouch for about 280 days.  The Red-Necked Wallaby is about three feet tall and can weigh up to 40 pounds.



Chestnut Teal (Anas castanea) – Southern Australia.  The Chestnut Teal feeds by dabbling and grazing, and eats seeds, insects, leaves and crustaceans.
Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni) – Australia.  The Plumed Whistling Duck is commonly called “Whistling” because of its whistling calls and the whistling noise the wings make while flying.  Both the male and the female have the same plumage.  They have black on the under-wing, which can be seen in flight.  They have a long neck and long legs.


Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) – East. South and West Australia.  The Laughing Kookaburra is the largest of the kingfishers.  They swoop down from branches to snatch insects, snakes, lizards, rodents and small birds.
Gray Peacock-Pheasant (Polyplectron bicalcaratum) – Burma. India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Southwest China.  The spots on the wings and tail are called “eye spots”.


Chilean Flamingos (Phoenicopterus chilensis) – South America in salt marshes.  They feed on small crustaceans which give them their pink color.


Chilean Flamingos taking a bath.


Nicobar Pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) – Indonesia and the Nicobar Islands.  They roam in flocks from Island to Island.
California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) – Southern California to Mexico along the rocky shores.  They like to bask in the sun on the many large rocks.  The Sea Lions come ashore in large breeding colonies called “Rookeries”.


Aldabra Tortoise (Geochelone gigantea) – Aldabra Islands in the Indian Ocean.  They like the swamps, grasslands and vegetation.  Tortoise have serrated ridges along the upper and lower jaws to bite off and tear leaves and grass, even knocking down trees to get to leaves.  The female will lay as many as 20 eggs in a hole she has dug.  Then she covers them up and leaves them.  When the time comes, they dig themselves out of the hole.  This Tortoise can way up to 540 pounds.

Japanese Macaque (Macaca fuscata) – Japan.  Japanese Macaque are also called “Snow Monkeys” since they live in the Northern section of Japan.  They live in large troops sometimes numbering up to forty.  They huddle together in groups to keep warm in the cold months.


Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) – Mexico to Brazil and Bolivia.  This beautiful parrot usually flies in a flock with a mate by his side.  They are very conspicuous when they fly because of their brilliant colors.



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