Fitz Is Moving On: Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park Unveils New Jaguar Habitat

Untitled-1Named in honor of one of the Valley’s most well-known and liked professional athletes, AZ Cardinal’s Larry Fitzgerald, the 2 year old adolescent jaguar “Fitz” is settling into his new two story habitat at Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park. The new home has a climbing wall, perches, waterfall and pools suitable for the largest variety of feline found in the New World and third in size behind lions and tigers. The new exhibit retains some of the best features of the original exhibit such as an enclosed ledge that allows the cats to climb up and over zoo visitors, giving guests and animals a truly unique view of each other.

Over the next several weeks, zookeepers will continue to acclimate Fitz to the considerably larger space and water features, as well as, his new neighbors, the turkey and King vultures on display nearby.  Plus, Fitz is also slowly getting to know a new companion–an adolescent female that recently arrived at Wildlife World. Keepers are using his favorite enrichment items like scents from perfume and herbs to entice both animals to explore all their new home has to offer, including each other.

Male jaguars can reach up to about 200lbs and are known to have the strongest bite of any feline species.  Their stocky build enables them to climb with ease in their preferred rainforest habitat enabling them to stalk and ambush prey animals. Jaguars are also excellent swimmers. While most jaguars are yellow with black spots, a sizable fraction of the population, is black with black spots. Jaguars have an extensive range throughout Central and South America and were once found throughout the desert Southwest, including Arizona. Similar to many large vertebrate predators across the globe, jaguars face an uncertain future due to poaching and deforestation resulting in habitat loss and fragmentation. Many are killed as a result of increasing human-animal conflicts over space and resources.

The new habitat allows Wildlife World to move ahead with plans over the next few years to phase out, replace and redevelop the older exhibits on the zoo’s original grounds. As an USDA licensed, private institution, accredited by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA), Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park receives zero taxpayer funding. No tax dollars have ever been spent to build or operate Wildlife World. This new jaguar exhibit opens on the heels of an all new outdoor sea lion exhibit, educational show, and public feeding that opened on Christmas.  The new show featuring the only marine mammals found in Arizona has been very popular with zoo visitors this winter.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, AZ (SE corner of state route 303 and northern Ave.) We’re open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays.

Zoo exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last zoo admission is at 5:00 p.m.) Aquarium exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Daytime admission includes access to the zoo, aquarium and safari park.  Special reduced evening admission to Aquarium-Only is available after 5:00 p.m.

For more info: (623) 935-WILD (9453) or visit us on facebook and www.WildlifeWorld.com.

Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium’s New Safari Park Expansion Unveils Baboons, Jackals and rare White Lion

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium continues its 30th anniversary celebration with the addition of several new species at its recently launched 15-acre Safari Park expansion. The new species include olive baboons, jackals and the Southwest’s only white African lion.

Visitors will have the opportunity to see the young female white lion exploring the Safari Park’s spacious new lion habitat each day from approximately 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Zookeepers will spend the next year or more introducing the youngster to the park’s older lion pair with whom she shares the exhibit. White lions are not albino but a rare color variation. Unfortunately, African lions have experienced a catastrophic decline in population numbers over the past quarter century. The once plentiful iconic African species and “king of the jungle” may soon go extinct if wild population declines due to habitat and prey loss, human conflict and overpopulation are not reversed.

Also making their debut are a trio of Olive baboons. With a range that extends across a large swath of Sub Sahara Africa, baboons are one of the most versatile and successful species of Old World monkeys. They can be found in all types of habitats from dry grasslands to rain forests. Almost dog-like in appearance with a longer snout and preference for walking on all fours, Olive baboons can grow quite large with some males reaching as much as 100lbs. Mature females can be distinguished by their prominent and reddish colored bare hindquarters. Despite an extensive primate collection of about two dozen varieties, these are the first baboons in Wildlife World’s 30 year history.

Rounding out the latest additions is a pair of African Jackals. Like the Southwest’s coyotes, these canine cousins survive by hunting a variety of small animals and foraging on plant matter. Jackals are small predators with slender legs and large ears for cooling and are often found in arid grasslands.

The Safari Park increases Wildlife World’s developed area to about 80 acres and includes another dining option for zoo visitors at the Safari Grill. Visitors will appreciate dozens of shaded viewing locations that provide guests with multiple panoramic views of some of Africa’s most recognizable species including several varieties of antelopes, wildebeest, ostriches, and more. Visitors can walk around the safari park as well as take an optional tram ride (for an additional fee) through a half dozen animal exhibits. Entrance to the Safari Park, located by the zoo’s popular giraffe feeding station, is included with general admission.

As a USDA licensed, private institution, accredited by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA), Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium receives zero taxpayer funding. No tax dollars have ever been spent to build or operate Wildlife World.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, AZ (SE corner of state route 303 and northern Ave.) We’re open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays.

Zoo exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last zoo admission is at 5:00 p.m.) Aquarium exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Daytime admission includes access to the zoo and aquarium. Special reduced evening admission to Aquarium-Only is available after 5:00 p.m.

For more info: (623) 935-WILD (9453) or visit us on facebook and www.WildlifeWorld.com.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park Welcomes Cheetahs to Arizona’s Largest Collection of Wild Species

As part of its 30th anniversary celebration, Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium began 2014 by launching an all new 15-acre Safari Park addition in January. At long last, the final jewel of the safari park has arrived–a young pair of cheetahs. The unrelated male and female are just over 1 year old having been born in 2013 at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre in South Africa. Originally known as the De Wildt Cheetah Centre, it is largely credited with preserving the threatened species with more than 800 cubs born since opening in 1971. Wildlife World’s longtime dedication to displaying and preserving endangered feline species like the cheetah includes a multiyear financial commitment to the cheetah conservation fund and other organizations focused on saving endangered species in Africa.

As the fastest land mammal on earth, Cheetahs are designed for speed and are capable of reaching up to 60 mph in just a few seconds. Their ability to sprint at high velocity in pursuit of small but speedy prey is short lived and often depletes their energy stores. Thus, it is imperative the cheetah trips up and subdues its prey quickly. Also, cheetahs are unlike most other cats in that their claws are only partially retractable, which helps to improve their traction while running. Given their sleek body shape, cheetahs are less able to defend themselves from large predators like hyenas and lions. Such competition combined with a cub mortality of about 60%, a natural “bottleneck” that has severely limited genetic variation among the entire population, and conflict with humans has made the species vulnerable to extinction. Its former range extended across much of Africa and Asia. Today it is restricted to shrinking and increasingly isolated dry grassland and savanna habitats in Africa and is nearly gone from Asia. Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park has committed to working with fellow accredited zoos from the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and other professional associations to promote the preservation of cheetahs living in human care and the wild through financial contributions, public education and participation in cooperative breeding programs for this and other vulnerable and endangered species.

The Safari Park increases Wildlife World’s developed area to about 80 acres and includes another dining option for zoo visitors at the Safari Grill. Visitors will appreciate dozens of shaded viewing locations that provide guests with multiple panoramic views of some of Africa’s most recognizable species including an all new African lion habitat, olive baboons, jackals, several varieties of antelopes, wildebeest, ostriches, and more. Visitors can walk around the safari park as well as take an optional tram ride (for an additional fee) through a half dozen animal exhibits. Entrance to the Safari Park, located by the zoo’s popular giraffe feeding station, is included with general admission.

As an USDA licensed, private institution, accredited by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA), Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium receives zero taxpayer funding. No tax dollars have ever been spent to build or operate Wildlife World.

With the Safari Park collection plan of species now completed, attention turns to the next major expansion on 15 additional acres along the state route 303. This new project nicknamed “Adventure Land” is scheduled for fall of 2015 and will feature several ride attractions and species from the Americas including bears, mountain lion, and many more.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, AZ (SE corner of state route 303 and northern Ave.) Were open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays.

Zoo exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last zoo admission is at 5:00 p.m.) Aquarium exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Daytime admission includes access to the zoo and aquarium. Special reduced evening admission to Aquarium-Only is available after 5:00 p.m.

For more info: (623) 935-WILD (9453) or visit us on facebook and www.WildlifeWorld.com.

All Aboard! Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park Launches New African Safari Train

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium began celebrating this, its 30th anniversary year with an all new 15 acre Safari Park addition in January. This week, the celebration continues with a fond farewell to our old African Safari Train. Not the ever popular half mile long immersive ride experience with about a dozen species like gazelles, ostriches, and antelope including the nearly extinct Scimitar Horned Orxy, just the train itself. After 20 years, it was time to retire the old train and install a brand new and larger gauge train. At a cost of over $1/2M, the new train is an American made replica by Chance Rides of the famous C. P. Huntington locomotive. The new train is just one of many exciting announcements expected over the next few months as the busy zoo season gets underway.

Wildlife World is home to the largest collection of rare and exotic species in Arizona with over 600 species on display. For those new to the Valley or just visiting Arizona, the zoo, aquarium and safari park increases Wildlife World’s developed area to more than 80 acres and includes another dining option for guests. The safari park features a few known favorites and several brand new species including: a pair of rare cheetahs, greater kudu, rock hyrax, baboons, jackals, wildebeest, Watusi cattle and more. It also features a variety of African birds and other ungulates. Visitors can walk around the safari park as well as take an optional tram ride through several animal exhibits.   Entrance to the Safari Park, located by the zoo’s popular giraffe exhibit, is included with general admission.

As a USDA licensed, private institution, accredited by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums (AMMPA), Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park receives zero taxpayer funding. No tax dollars have ever been spent to build or operate Wildlife World. We are extremely grateful for three decades of visitor support from the hundreds of thousands of guests to Wildlife World each year. They have made our growth, renewal and demonstrated commitment to ever improving animal well-being in a family friendly and fun environment possible.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave., Litchfield Park, AZ (SE corner of state route 303 and northern Ave.) Were open seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all holidays.

Zoo exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (last zoo admission is at 5:00 p.m.) Aquarium exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Daytime admission includes access to the zoo and aquarium. Special reduced evening admission to Aquarium-Only is available after 5:00 p.m.

For more info: (623) 935-WILD (9453) or visit us on facebook and www.WildlifeWorld.com.

Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park Announces Recipients of 2014 Animal Care & Conservation Awards

Wildlife World Zoo and Aquarium Celebrates 30th Anniversary with 15 – Acre Safari Park Expansion Grand Opening

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium Celebrates International Cheetah Day with Big Announcement

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium Announces Recipients of 2013 Conservation Awards

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium Achieves Accreditation by Alliance of Marine Mammal Parks & Aquariums

California Sea Lions Sure to Make Big Splash at Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium