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Sep. 28, 2022
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9:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Right Now at the Zoo

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Daily Schedule
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Entrance/Exit
  • 9:00 AM Gates Open
  • 5:00 PM Last Entry
  • 5:30 PM Gates Close
African Veldt
  • 11:00 AM Giraffe Feeding Adventure (Seasonal, March-October)
  • 1:30 PM Giraffe Keeper Chat
  • 2:00 PM Rhino Keeper Chat
  • 2:30 PM Elephant Feeding & Chat
Animals of the Night
  • 1:00 PM Animals of the Night Keeper Chat
Aquarium
  • 3:00 PM Aquarium Keeper Chat
Cat Country
  • 1:30 PM Cat Country Chat
China
  • 11:00 AM Panda Keeper Chat
Dragon's Lair
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Herpetarium
  • 10:00 AM Reptile Chat
Northwest Passage
  • 11:00 AM Sea Lion Show
  • 2:00 PM Polar Bear Chat
  • 3:00 PM Sea Lion Show
Once Upon a Farm
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Pelican Pool
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Penguin Rock
  • 3:00 PM Penguin Feeding
Primate Canyon
  • 1:15 PM Primate Keeper Chat
Teton Trek
  • 1:00 PM Bear feeding
Tropical Bird House
  • 2:00 PM Tropical Bird Feeding
Zambezi River Hippo Camp
  • 10:30 AM Hippo Chat
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Your Passport to

Primate Canyon

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Asian Small-clawed Otters

The Asian Small-clawed Otter is grayish brown to dark brown, with a lighter underside and a white throat. The short, dense fur is impermeable to water. They are able to dive for several minutes due to a huge lung capacity. Otters live in dens, usually by the side of the water and with an underwater entrance to the den. The diurnal small-clawed otters live in groups of four to twelve animals.

About the Memphis Zoo's Otters

The otters at the Memphis Zoo consist of a family group of eight. They share an exhibit with white-cheeked gibbons. These two species have a lot of interaction while on exhibit which makes for a lot of entertainment for visitors.

Quick Facts

Status

"Vulnerable"

Range

These small otters live on rivers, lakes, and seashores. They range from the East Indies to Himalayas and China.

Diet

Their diet consists of clams, snails, crayfish, and other aquatic animals.

Distinguishing Characteristics

They have gray-ish brown hair and lighter underside with short, coarse hair.

Size

The body length is 18 to 22 inches with a tail length of 10 to 14 inches. The average weight is 6.6 to 13 lbs.

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Black and White Ruffed Lemur

Like all lemur species, ruffed lemurs are found in the wild on the tiny African nation of Madagascar. They are prosimians, or a group of primates that include lemurs and lorises. They evolved before apes and monkeys. Both species of ruffed lemurs are the only primates that keep their young in nests, and don't carry them around when they travel.

There are over 100 different species of lemurs; there are five distinct families of lemurs within those species. Black and white ruffed lemurs also get their name from their coloration. Their fur tends to be longer than that of their counterparts. Although they all have black and white fur, the markings and colorations differ by individuals. 

The black and white ruffed lemur group consists of a pair, female "Penelope" and male "Pepé." According to their keepers, Pepé has a short tail and gets along with everyone. Penelope is larger and has a longer tail. 

The two groups of lemurs are on exhibit in Primate Canyon, across from the Orangutan yard. They share their exhibit space with the Asian small-clawed otters. 

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Bonobos

Bonobos, sometimes called Pygmy Chimpanzees, look similar to the common chimpanzee except that they are shorter, narrower in the chest and hips, and have bodies that are slender. However, they are not related to chimpanzees at all. Their long, fine hair is mostly black, with some white at the muzzle. Bonobos are noted for their strong social ties to each other relying on cooperation, rather than conflict to form an orderly society.

About our bonobos

The Memphis Zoo is home to 5 bonobos. “Lisala” is the matriarch of the troop. “Lily” is the sister of Lisala, as well as the mother of “Mpingo”. “Kiri” is the mother of “Mobali. Our bonobo troop loves to play and be silly together!

Quick Facts

Status

"Endangered", population decreasing

Range

Bonobos are confined to the tropical rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) in Central Africa

Diet

Bonobos eat mainly fruits, but they will also eat small mammals, insect larvae, and various parts of plants.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Referred to as ”pygmy chimpanzees” – they have a very similar look as chimps.

Size

Male bonobos average 34 inches in height and weigh about 90 pounds. Females are about 31 inches in height and weigh about 66 pounds.

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Colobus Monkeys

Colobus monkeys, known for their black and white stripes and long tails, are found in the grasslands and forests of Central Africa. These monkeys lack opposable thumbs, a characteristic that makes them distinctly different from their primate relatives. This adaptation allows them to move quickly through the trees in their forest habitats.

About Our Group

Our female is "Ruby." Our males include "Moe" and "Lewis."  "Moe" is the dad to Ruby and Lewis. He loves to wrestle and play chase with his babies when they are old enough. He is in a training program to teach him to go into a crate and voluntarily accept an injection to help with veterinary procedures. He seems to enjoy the extra attention. The younger ones, Lewis and Ruby are very playful and like to get into mischief. When the keepers are interacting with Lewis, he jumps up and down and is sometimes a little bit grabby.

Quick Facts

Status

Least Concern

Range

Found mostly in Central Africa.

Diet

These animals are herbivores, primarily eating leaves.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Colobus monkeys have long black hair except for the long white hair on their shoulders.

Size

These monkeys are smaller in size, weighing between 12 and 30 lbs.

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Lowland Gorillas

The western lowland gorilla is the largest of the living primates. Males, known as “silverbacks” due to the gray hair they begin to have as they reach maturity, can be as tall as 6 feet and weigh as much as 400 pounds. The females are much smaller, weighing in at 200 pounds and only about 5 feet tall.

About our gorilla troop

The Memphis Zoo’s family group of gorillas has grown significantly over the years in an effort to establish a family unit. Our group is made up of one male and three females. “Mwelu” is a smart and intimidating silverback gorilla who likes to keep to himself. However, he has three females, “Kwizera,” “Penny” and her daughter “Kebara” to keep him company. In an interesting effort to create harmony in the group, Memphis Zoo staff gave the three females time to bond before introducing them to Mwelu, as males can sometimes be territorial when new gorillas are added. Just as our staff suspected, the bonding time worked like a charm and made for a relatively smooth transition.

Quick Facts

Quick Facts

The easiest way to distinguish the females from the males is their much-smaller size. You can also tell by the male’s gray hairs on his back. This isn’t a sign of age – all mature males have this “silver back.”

Quick Facts

Even in the wild, gorillas are typically gentle animals unless threatened.

Quick Facts

Gorillas live in groups of 10, or even as many as 20, members.

Quick Facts

There are only approximately 95,000 western lowland gorillas left in the wild, meaning they are critically endangered.

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Orangutans

Orangutans are very endangered in the wild. They are found on only two islands in Southeast Asia, Borneo and Sumatra. These tree-dwelling apes are the only greater apes found in all of Asia. Orangutans are extremely intelligent and are known for making and using tools in the wild.

About our Orangutans

The Memphis Zoo is home to four Sumatran orangutans, our adult male “Tombak” and two females “Chickie” and “Jahe.” Tombak and Jahe are the parents of "Rowan." This is a very active group and many times entertain guests with their quirky personalities. Tombak can frequently be seen swinging from his rope on the exhibit’s complex jungle gym, and Chickie and Jahe love to explore all the exhibit with the enrichment items provided by their keepers. 

Quick Facts

Status

Sumatran Orangutans are listed as critically endangered and declining. To learn more about the palm oil crisis, click here.

Range

Orangutans are found exclusively in Southeast Asia in the jungle canopies.

Diet

Typically herbivorous, orangutans prefer fruits and vegetables but will rarely consume small animals.

Distinguishing Characteristics

These greater apes are known for their reddish fur covering most of their bodies, and the males are especially distinctive by their round, padded face.

Size

Male orangutans can weigh approximately 300 lbs, with the females only growing to about half that weight.

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Patas Monkey

The patas monkey is an Old World monkey (family Cercopithecidae), also known as the wadi monkey or hussar monkey, is a ground-dwelling monkey distributed over semi-arid areas of West Africa, and into East Africa.  It was formerly considered the only member of the genus Erythrocebus, but the Blue Nile patas monkey, previously synonymized with this species, was resurrected in 2018.

The adult male patas monkey has shaggy fur set off by a white mustache and white underparts, and its build is like that of a greyhound; the female has a similar but less-striking pattern and build. They are long-limbed and predominantly ground-dwelling primates found in the grass and scrub regions of West and Central Africa and southeast to the Serengeti plains.

About Our Group

The Memphis Zoo has two half-sisters Grace and Zarina and our male Dayo. Grace is almost 8 years old (birthday April 29, 2013), Zarina is 8 years old (November 30, 2012), and Dayo is 7 years old (October 10, 2013). Dayo came to Memphis from Zoo Boise. The two girls came from Syracuse.

The Memphis Zoo's Patas monkeys are shy-natured and very fast. When they eat tomatoes they peel the skin off first and only eat the insides. They also enjoy looking at themselves in mirrors.

Quick Facts

Quick Facts

They have been called “the dancing monkey” because they jump when they are excited.

Quick Facts

Patas monkeys walk on their fingers, not on their palms. When relaxed, they lean back and put up their feet!

Quick Facts

The world's fastest primate. Patas monkeys are quadrupedal and their terrestrial locomotion is extremely quick for a primate, with a maximum speed of approximately 34 mph. Their especially long forelimbs facilitate this high running speed which provides an avenue of escape from predators.

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Red-Ruffed Lemurs

Like all lemur species, ruffed lemurs are found in the wild on the tiny African nation of Madagascar. They are prosimians, or a group of primates that include lemurs and lorises. They evolved before apes and monkeys. Both species of ruffed lemurs are the only primates that keep their young in nests, and don't carry them around when they travel.

There are over 100 different species of lemurs; there are five distinct families of lemurs within those species. Red-ruffed lemurs get their name from the rusty, or chestnut, colored fur that covers most of their body. Their forehead, stomach, tail and inside of their limbs, however, are black.

Red-ruffed lemurs are the most vocal of all primates – they have been known to use 12 different vocalizations. 

Our red-ruffed lemur group includes "Carmé," a female, and her two brothers, "Titan" and "Puck." According to their keepers, Carmé is sassy, and has a white stripe on her left foot. Puck has white stripes on both feet, while Titan doesn't have any white stripes. 

The two groups of lemurs are on exhibit in Primate Canyon, across from the Orangutan yard. They share their exhibit space with the Asian small-clawed otters. 

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Siamang

Siamangs are known as one of the lesser apes because of their smaller size compared to primates. Each siamang family has its own forest territory of about 120 acres. Each morning, the female begins calling to other family groups to notify them of her presence and the male soon joins in. Each sex has its own particular song and each family group has its own particular duet. The call of the siamang is one of the loudest noises in Nature. It can penetrate the forest canopy for several kilometers.

About our Siamangs

The Memphis Zoo is home to two siamangs, “Haumea” and “Loki.” The happy couple Haumea and Loki share an exhibit next to the gorillas in Primate Canyon.

Quick Facts

Status

"Endangered", population decreasing

Range

Sumatra and Malay peninsula

Diet

Greens, kale, spinach, lettuce, celery sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, oranges, raisins

Distinguishing Characteristics

Long slender arms, short legs, long fingers, opposable big toe, fur all-black, face bare, throat bare, large gular pouch extends when calling

Size

30 – 35 inches, 23 lbs, 5 ft armspan; females slightly smaller

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Spot Nose Guenon

Spot-nosed guenons are native to the rain forests of West Africa and best known for their white nose spot.   The spot-nosed guenon’s species name, petaurista, means “springiest-tailed monkey,” describing the primate’s leaping ability. Their long tail is not prehensile, but helps them balance while moving through the trees. The guenon’s excellent color vision helps them find ripe fruit while their large cheek pouches are used for storing their food. 

We currently have a group of five, including females "Thimble" and "Libby," adult male "Jerry," and two boys, "Benjamin Button" and "Grommet."

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White Cheeked Gibbons

White-cheeked gibbons are small apes that have very long arms and legs, which they use to traverse tree branches. They can move at speeds of up to 35 mph.