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Caribbean’s leading zoo to get an upgrade

Caribbean’s leading zoo to get an upgrade (Forimmediaterelease.net) A visit to Trinidad and Tobago’s Emperor Valley Zoo has long been a staple weekend and holiday activity for both locals and visitors to the islands’ shores. In an effort to enhance the overall visitor experience the zoo is currently undergoing extensive renovation and upgrade works with a new African exhibit due to be unveiled later this year.

Across the globe, zoos and animal parks have become a must-see attraction that ignites the imagination of all who visit. In Trinidad and Tobago, the Emperor Valley Zoo boasts a wide range of animals, from exotic to indigenous, and visitors can get an excellent overview of the diverse wildlife in Trinidad and Tobago.

In an effort to maintain its ranking as one of the top zoos in the Caribbean region, the Emperor Valley Zoo Enhancement and Development Project was launched in 2009 and aimed to develop the physical infrastructure and natural environment of the facility which is located in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago’s capital city.
In 2011, Phase One of the project was completed and injected new life into what was already an entertaining way to pass the day. Phase One upgrades include a flamingo enclosure and a world-class otter exhibit which brings the aquatic antics of this energetic animal at eye level, much to the delight of patrons both young and old.

Phase Two of the Project is scheduled for completion by October 2013, and will feature an African exhibit with animals such as the giraffe, chimpanzee and warthog. These animals will join the African lions already at the zoo. Phase Three will concentrate on Asian animals and two Bengal tigers have already been sourced and are expected to be major attractions.

With its growing collection, the Emperor Valley Zoo is also expanding its breeding program in keeping with the international trend of propagation in captivity, rather than the depletion of wild, and in some cases diminishing, animal populations. It is hoped that the zoo’s two giant river otters, named Susie and Khatuma, will breed soon as they are at their prime age. An otter litter can be between one to four offspring and the zoo has already prepared for the possibility by building a shelter for mother and her young. The zoo is also attempting to take its conservation efforts a step further by reintroducing animals born in captivity back into the wild.

Adding to the excitement of the city of Port of Spain, there is much to see and do at the zoo and testament to the improvements in the exhibits and layout is the increasing number of persons visiting the attraction on a daily basis.

The Emperor Valley Zoo first opened its gates to the public on November 8, 1952, and is situated adjacent to the Royal Botanical Gardens. At just over seven acres, the zoo is named after the large blue Emperor Butterfly that was once prevalent in the valley where the attraction now sits and was developed with much of the location’s original flora and fauna intact, which enhances the landscape.

The zoo is open every day, except Christmas and Carnival Monday and Tuesday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information on the Emperor Valley Zoo, visit www.zstt.com

MEDIA CONTACT: Carla Cupid-Greene, Trinidad & Tobago Tourism Development Company Limited, ccupid-greene@tdc.co.tt

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