|This article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2011)|
|Location||Santiago de Cali, Valle del Cauca|
|Land area||10 hectares (25 acres)|
|Number of animals||1200|
|Number of species||180|
Cali Zoo is located in the city of Cali in the country of Colombia. The Zoo belongs to a foundation that carries its name and whose mission, since it took the zoo's administration in 1981, has been to improve the animals' diet, their natural environment, and the medical care of the existing fauna.
The zoo offers a unique experience of direct contact with nature and the culture of this South American country. Cali Zoo promotes and performs different educational, recreational and investigative programs to help preserve Colombian biodiversity and create an environmental social conscience. Cali Zoo is committed to quality in all its areas, processes, and research projects.
The zoo started with animals in narrow and dirty cages, with basic levels of care and feeding. With local government support and contributions from citizens, Cali Zoo began a transformation into a modern zoo.[when?] The old cages were replaced with new comfortable and spacious exhibits. Animals were relocated according to their species, rather than the prior indistinct organization. The Cali Zoo Foundation started focusing on each species requirements for diet. Finally, preventative medicine became a new focus. In the same way, the zoo's surroundings were redesigned and restored.
Later, Cali Zoo's administration started a complete medical collection of each animal's records, which allowed it to have accurate and organized information so it could provide better care. With these basic necessities satisfied, Cali Zoo could lead its objectives to research and preserve the different Colombian wild species.
The zoo has five sections for different kinds of species: primates, butterflies, ocean and river fish, amphibians and reptiles, and birds.
- Primates: These species have six different environments with artificial trees, walls and elements that resemble own features of the ecosystems where primates inhabit. Colombia has more than 450 mammalian species - 7% of the world total. The country has 30 primates species, the second highest of any tropical country in the Americas. and the fifth most diverse country in the world.
- Butterflies: Cali Zoo has more than 800 different butterflies species. They are located in a special place called mariposario where they are free and the visitors can walk within the place and observe this amazing colorful spectacle. The mariposario also shows a video that depicts the butterfly's metamorphosis in all its stages.
- Ocean and River fish: This exhibition introduces visitors to the wonderful aquatic world through 9 fresh water aquariums and 10 salt water aquariums.
- Amphibians and Reptiles: Serpents, crocodiles and poison frogs are a small sample of the extensive Colombian biodiversity. It is a unique opportunity to know and interact with these special and mysterious animals. Colombia has 520 reptile species, the third most of any country.
- Birds: Cali Zoo offers a real humid tropical forest that shelters diverse colorful Colombian species. Tourists can hear the birds' sounds and feel the fresh of these exotic places. The Country has more than 1.800 different bird species, some 20% of the world total and 60% of those that inhabit South America.
- Owls, and Pacaranas: this exhibit was opened in early 2011 and contains 5 species of owls and 1 specie of mammal which is the pacarana (Dinomys branickii) it has an education centre and a trail with binoculars and telescopes pointing at some owl nests and houses. it is also divided in 4 aviaries.
- Teatrino:The teatrino is an amphitheatre for roleplays and animal shows.
Cali Zoo offers summer camps during school vacations where children between 4 and 12 years old learn how the animals live in the zoo, their behaviors and current habits. They also learn how veterinarians take care of them and how to prepare food for the animals. These activities are complemented with recreational activities as well. The zoo also offers Environment Formation Workshops for professors.
- Stap, an Asiatic brown bear that was born in the Liepzik Zoo in Russia. When he was only some months old he was sold to a Russian circus in which he didn't learn, so he was punished in a small cage until he was donated to the Cali Zoo. When he arrived, he met Griselda, a female grizzly bear who died after 3 years of company. Actually, Stap was at the zoo training system and his diet was composed of chicken, fruits, and a special bread made at the zoo.
- Carlitos, a Galapagos giant tortoise who lived at the cali zoo since its beginning up until the 29th of December, 2007 from a fractured jaw caused by a rock. Carlitos was exchanged for 2 lions in Ecuador by Rodrigo de la Puente, an Ecuadorian man who helped construct the zoo. Carlitos was one of the main star animals at the zoo because it was friendly towards children and gave rides on its back.
- Inco and Sedona, mountain tapirs that live in the zoo. and that were brought from the Los Angeles zoo, these are very special animals because only four zoos exhibit them, and the Cali Zoo is the only one in its home range.
- Lluvia and Carolina, giant otters. Carolina was the first of the 22 otters that the zoo has had. Lluvia was her breeding partner and since they met for first time they have had 19 babies which 11 survived until adulthood. Five of them these were sent to Europe and the US and some of them have bred. Carolina died of old age in May 2011 and Lluvia is no longer on public display, but other otters are exhibited instead.
- Rino and Rina, a pair of white rhinoceroses brought from South Africa in the 1970s and on display until their deaths (in 1993 and 1998 respectively). They never bred and the zoo no longer has rhinos.
Birds at the zoo include ara macao, ara ararauna, ara severus, ara ambiguus, Andean condor, black swan, brown pelican, emu, ostrich, greater rhea, keel-billed toucan, American flamingo, and cock of the rock.
Mammals at the zoo include giant otter, zebra, Parma wallaby, Bennets wallaby, giant anteater, cottontop tamarin, black-and-white ruffed lemur, hamadryas baboon, lion, Bengal tiger including a white specimen, howler monkey, white tailed deer, pacarana, mountain tapir, South American tapir, capybara, llama, two toed sloth, brown bear, spectacled bear, black bear, and jaguar.
- Australian outback: this exhibit is in the design stage and it consists in an innmertion exhibit with parma and bennets wallaby, emus, kookaburras, cockatoos and black swan. It will have a gift shop at the end.
- Jaziquima: This new habitat is an Amazon themed area, with 6 species of primates, from woolly monkeys to capuchin monkeys. It will be elevated and for this the old exhibits will be demolished. Currently under construction.