Covering 12 hectares (30 acres) of Phoenix Park, it provides a habitat for more than 235 species of wild animals and tropical birds. The zoo includes: World of Cats, World of Primates, Fringes of the Arctic, African Plains, Birds, Reptiles, Plants, City Farm and Endangered Species.
The zoo is part of a worldwide program to breed endangered species. It is a member of the European Endangered Species Program (EEP), which helps the conservation of endangered species in Europe. Each species supervised by the EEP has a single coordinator who is responsible for the building of breeding groups with the aim of obtaining a genetically balanced population.
Dublin Zoo manages the EEP for the Golden Lion Tamarin and the Moluccan Cockatoo. It also houses members of the species Goeldi’s monkey and the white-faced Saki which are part of EEPs coordinated by other zoos. The focus is on conservation, which includes breeding and protecting endangered species, as well as research, study and education.
Rodrigues fruit bats are one of Dublin Zoo's endangered species. Fruit bats, as their name suggests, feed on fruit and because of that are very important to the rain forest. Bats cannot digest the seeds and pips of the fruit that they eat and so the seeds leave the bat's digestive system "wrapped" in fertilizer. Without bats many rain forest trees would not be able to sow their own seeds.
Dublin zoo is building a larger Asian Elephant enclosure (complete with Asian rainforest) and the bat house has been demolished. The Rodrigues fruit bats are now in the bird house (located beside the Ring-tailed Lemurs).
This tiny monkey, named for its beautiful golden color and the long hair around its head which resembles a lion's mane, is one of the rarest primates in the world. Golden Lion Tamarins, like many of the other Tamarins found in South America, are threatened with extinction in their natural habitat. Dublin Zoo is involved in the international breeding program and helps to fund researchers who study the Tamarins in Brazil.
The forests that Golden Lion Tamarins need in order to survive are cut down for timber and to make room for cattle ranches, farms and urbanization. Sometimes very small areas or 'pockets' of forest are left but these are too small for the Tamarins to survive in. In the past Tamarins were collected for sale to the pet trade or for use in research laboratories. The Golden lion tamarins are located in the South-American house.
Dublin Zoo holds the European studbook for this species. A studbook is a record of all the individuals of a particular species that are held in zoos in a region. It contains information such as the sex of the animal, how old it is and who its parents were. This information is then used to decide which birds should be paired with which to get the best genetic mix. This ensures that the captive population stays as genetically healthy as possible. Moluccan Cockatoos are handsome birds, white-with-a-hint-of-pink feathers and a pink colour on the crest. This cockatoo is on the endangered species list.
A new enclosure is being built that will be 50% bigger than the old one. Two adult females, Bernhardine and Yasmin (who are sisters), and Yasmine's calf, Anak, arrived in Dublin Zoo from Rotterdam Zoo in October 2006. They are in quarantine and will be on view to the public in 2007.
Early on the morning of Monday, 7th May, Bernhardine, one of our Asian elephants gave birth to a healthy female calf.
The birth took place in total darkness and was carefully monitored by the keepers via special CCTV cameras fitted with infrared lights.
At 2.30am, a large swelling had appeared, inticating that the calf had moved into the birth canal. At 2.39am the calf emerged. Two minutes after the birth the calf could be seen moving and eight minutes after the birth the baby elephant stood upright. At 2.49am, the baby elephant took its first steps, much to the delight of zookeepers.
It was a comepletely natural birth, without any complications. We could observe the other elephants, Yasmin and Anak, offering their support to Bernhardine and taking great interest in the calf. We are all so delighted with the birth of our healthy baby elephant and there is a real buzz of excitement in the zoo as a result of the birth.
You will be able to see Bernhadineand her calf, and other elephants, Yasmin and Anak in early June when their purpose built Asian Elephant habitat, The Kazaringa Forest Trail is unveiled, and the calf is strong and healthy.
Leo Ooosterweghel Director of Dublin Zoo
The name of the elephant has so far not been decided though the most popular nominatian is "Tara" because she is the first elephant born in Ireland, Tara is a popular Irish name and there is the Hill of Tara; Tara is also Indian for "Star".
The enclosure was opened on the 28th of June 2007 with four elephants. It includes a waterfall, a river, a path with many impressions (elephant footprints, human footprints, deer footprints and plant impressions) a children's playground, a small viewing area, a large semi-sheltered viewing area in which you can sit down in, two elephant pools, two feeding areas, toilets, a large house in which visitors can see the elephants, large amounts of vegetation and educational signs. The new calf's name was revealed in September 2007 as Asha.
One of the two older elephants Yasmin has given birth on February 17 to a calf. It's a male and has beem named 'Budi' which means the wise one in Hindi.
Some of the islands have climbing frames. Areas of each island have been sectioned off with hot-wire to facilitate the growth of vegetation and give each island a more natural appearance. On some islands, areas of foraging substrate, such as bark, have been provided to facilitate scatter feeding. This form of enrichment has been shown to be important in increasing the behavioural repertoire of many species managed in captivity.
The provision of large viewing windows in the sleeping quarters give the public access to what is generally an off-show area in many zoos. However, there are areas where the animals can hide from the public.
These islands are inhabited by siamang gibbons, red ruffed lemurs, eastern colobus monkeys, spider monkeys, chimpanzees and Celebes macaques. Apart from the chimps, who are restricted to their sleeping quarters at night, each species have unlimited access to their outdoor enclosures both day and night.
The zoo has succeeded in breeding the primates on these islands. The Celebes macaque group have done exceptionally well since their introduction to the island, and success has also been achieved with the colobus, lemurs and siamangs.
Facilities for the display of snow leopards, lions and jaguars were out-dated, and it was decided that a new themed area would be the best option to meet international zoo standards. It would also increase the educational value of the area by facilitating comparisons of the cats' behaviours. The World of Cats exhibit opened in 1998.
The jaguar enclosure has an open top – containment is achieved through an overhang and hot wire. The outdoor enclosure is twice the size of their previous accommodation, and a separation pen has been constructed for breeding and introduction purposes. Natural substrates and shade are augmented by timber platforms linked by walkways and a pool.
The snow leopard enclosure has been designed to resemble their rocky natural habitat. Indeed, the snow leopards blend in so well with the granite background that the public spend time trying to locate them. This has been turned to educational advantage with the use of graphics relating to the use of camouflage by predators. The grassy bank at the back of this long, linear enclosure is a shade area for the animals. The enclosure has significantly improved the welfare of the snow leopards and it augurs well for continued breeding successes. Three snow leopard cubs were born May 2006, two females and a male. Unfortunately, the male died soon after.
A third large big cat enclosure is occupied by the Sumatran tigers, and the vegetation in the area reflects this. A large pool and waterfall has been incorporated into the design. Raised areas give the animals views across the zoo lake.
Each enclosure in the World of Cats is furnished with pools, natural substrates and shade. The public can see the animals through large windows. Access has been provided for the public to the sleeping quarters of the felids, which, like the primate housing, is a departure from the normal stance of maintaining sleeping areas off-show.
The City Farm and Pets’ Corner was completed in 1999. Visitors are encouraged to interact with the goats, I donkeys, cows and pony which are housed in open-air paddocks. Rare farm breeds are maintained here, including the Kerry cow, the Galway sheep and the Kune Kune pig. Another popular animal is the turkey who sometimes attacks cameras.
Sea lion, four days old, wanted for stealing hearts; Animal magic: Dublin Zoos latest arrival a cute sea lion pup has bewitched visitors.
Jun 13, 2008; Byline: Klara Kubiak SHE might make a very messy and difficult house pet but visitors toDublin Zoo were desperate to take an...