Experience London’s only living rainforest
Tuesday 18 May 2010
Zookeepers hope that the newly-opened Rainforest Life, built inside a giant bio-dome, will be a giant breeding facility for free-roaming monkeys, sloths, tree anteaters and birds.
The Zoo’s new flagship experience for 2010 includes real rain, living trees and tropical climates. Staff hope these will facilitate the breeding of a host of endangered residents.
The heated rainforest is kept at a sweltering 80°F so that the trees and plants, including exotic living trumpet trees and yellow rattle shaker plants, brought to London from Costa Rica, can be kept alive all year round.
Walking through a living, breathing, biodiverse rainforest, visitors can now get incredibly close to native South American animals as they trek across a new forest canopy in this no-glass, no-bars experience.
Curious red titi monkeys, golden-headed lion tamarins and mischievous emperor tamarins will be watching families intently from above their heads as they walk through a land of free-flying birds and misty clearings.
Zoological Director David Field said: “Rainforest Life will give people a real taste of the rainforest. These forests are living eco-systems which are home to thousands of endangered animals and they are disappearing fast.
“Hopefully by seeing how breathtakingly amazing rainforests are we can encourage ZSL London Zoo’s visitors to protect the world’s last remaining few.”
The exhibit is timed to coincide with the International Year of Biodiversity.