San Luis Obispo County residents taking a trip to the Charles Paddock Zoo this Labor Day weekend will be welcomed by some new faces.
The Atascadero zoo has officially unveiled three new species, all of which hail from South America.
The first animal, the southern tamandua, is described as “a small South American mammal related to the giant anteater.” The southern tamandua is nocturnal, but can occasionally be seen moving around during the day. It can be found in the zoo’s marmoset exhibit.
The second species is the great curassow: a large, pheasant-like bird from Central and South America. This species is considered “vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as a result of habitat loss.
Charles Paddock is home to two individuals of the species, which arrived from Miami-Dade Zoological Park & Gardens in May. The male is described as a “Don Juan” who “is often seen trying to feed the female and taking nesting material to the nest box.”
The final species is the red-fronted macaw. Native to a small mountainous region in Bolivia, the bird is listed as “endangered’ by the IUCN. The specimens hail from the Tulsa Zoo.
Adjacent to the Atascadero Lake Park, the Charles Paddock Zoo is home to more than 200 species of animals, local and exotic. As many zoo residents are a part of globally managed programs to help preserve animals and their habitats, the zoo is home to many species not often seen at facilities of its size, including red pandas, lemurs and a Malayan tiger.
Tickets to the Charles Paddock Zoo are $7 for adults ages 12 to 65; $6 for seniors age 65 and over; $5 for children ages 3-11; and free for kids 2 & under. The zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.