Rio Grande Zoo

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Rio Grande Zoo
Main entrance
Date opened 1927[1]
Location Albuquerque Biological Park, Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Coordinates 35°04′39″N 106°39′46″W / 35.0776°N 106.6627°W / 35.0776; -106.6627Coordinates: 35°04′39″N 106°39′46″W / 35.0776°N 106.6627°W / 35.0776; -106.6627
Land area 64 acres (26 ha)[1]
Number of species 200+[1]
Memberships AZA[2]

Founded in 1927, the 64-acre (26 ha) Rio Grande Zoo, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a facility of the Albuquerque Biological Park. Some of the most popular of the over 200 species are seals and sea lions, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, elephants, polar bears, giraffes, hippos, camels, tamarins, koalas, Mexican wolves, mountain lions, monkeys, jaguars, zebras, and rhinos. Sections of the zoo include an Africa exhibit area, an Australia exhibit area, the "Cat Walk", and Tropical America. A narrow-gauge railroad connects the zoo to the other facilities of the Albuquerque Biological Park. Walking distance through the zoo is 2.27 miles (3.65 km).

The Albuquerque Biological Park is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).[2]


The Rio Grande Zoo exhibit animals that pertain to various geographical areas. The zoo is divided into continents.


Reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, white rhinoceros, common chimpanzee, laughing hyena, cheetah, maribou stork, lappet-faced vultures, Cape griffon vultures, hippopotamus, lion, rock hyrax, slender tail meerkat, serval, African crested porcupine, lowland gorilla, ankole, naked mole rat, red river hog, warthog, hammerkop, saddle back crane, Stanley crane, cattle egret, dromedary camel, wolf guenon, DeBrazza's monkey, klipsringer, Madagascar ground boa, Madagascar tree boa, ostrich, African grooved frog, Lady Ross turaco, Aldabra tortoise, Cape hunting dog, African pancake tortoise, Sudanese plated lizard.


Tasmanian devil, koala, echidna, Matchsies tree kangaroo, saltwater crocodile, lorikeet, carpet python, princess of wale's parakeet, woompo fruit dove, emu, red kangaroo, laughing kookaburra, budgegree, Micronesian kingfisher, palm cockatoo, Major Mitchell's cockatoo.


Asian elephant, bactrian camel, snow leopard, Bengal tiger, red panda, king cobra, reticulated python, Indian python, wrinkled hornbill, pygmy slow loris, slow loris, orangutan, siamang, Komodo dragon, Chinese alligator, takin, Mandarin duck.


Polar bears.

North America[edit]

Bobcat, cougar, copperhead, milk snake, garter snake, desert tortoise, American alligator, American bison, black-tailed prairie dog, California sea lion, Mexican wolf, bald eagle, great horned owl, roadrunner, axolotl, golden eagle, turkey vulture, tiger salamander.

South and Central America[edit]

Caribbean flamingo, scarlet ibis, golden lion tamarin, cotton top tamarin, spider monkey, howler monkey, Cuban amazon, hyacinth macaw, scarlet macaw, golden collared macaw, andean tinomou, vine snake, blue poison dart frog, green anaconda, angelfish, red-bellied piranha, toco toucan, sunbittern, emerald tree boa, tree boa, boa constrictor, dwarf caiman, jaguar, ocelot, two-toed sloth, military macaw, andean condor, caracara, thick-billed parrot, hawkheaded parrot, sun conure.


Flamingo Crossing[edit]

An island located at the beginning of the zoo that holds the zoo's flock of Caribbean flamingos.

Frances V.R. Seebe Tropical America building[edit]

Before entering the Tropical America building, there is a mixed outdoor exhibit complete with a waterfall that houses scarlet ibis, blue cranes, and local waterfowl. The indoor facility that gives a rainforst feel that is inhabited by toucans, spider monkeys, two-toed sloth, tamarins, orchids, tarantulas and colorful bromeliads. There are also terrariums that house green anaconda, angelfish, and red-bellied piranha.

Reptile House[edit]

The building was formerly used to hold many of the zoo's reptiles and amphibians. The reptile house was remodeled in 2012 to include taipans, death adders, Chinese alligator, and alligator snapping turtle. With the renovations the building houses mostly reptiles. The exhibit houses many species of cobras, rattle snakes, and lizards. There are two large areas where the zoo's Komodo dragons are held. In a building located near the Reptile House the zoo's temporary home for a large adult salt water crocodile.


Several large exhibits that hold the zoo's bald eagles, golden eagles, ferruginous hawk and Andean condors as well as other birds.

Mexican Wolf Exhibit[edit]

This exhibit holds the zoo's pack of Mexican wolves.

Inukshuk Bay[edit]

It offers many views of the polar bear. One can see them through underwater viewing windows or walk to the top of the exhibit and watch the bears lounge, feed, and slide down the waterfall.

The Cat Walk[edit]

Grottos in this exhibit hold African lions, mountain lions, Asian snow leopards, jaguars, Bengal tigers, ocelots, emu and red kangaroos. Smaller exhibits hold great horned owls, hyraxes, African crested porcupine, bobcat, serval and meerkats.

Amphibians: Life on a Limb[edit]

With the renovation of the Reptile House in 2012, the zoo opened up Amphibians: Life on a Limb, replacing Gator Swamp, where the zoo used to hold its juvenile alligators. The building houses poison dart frogs, hellbenders, and caecilians as well as other amphibians. The zoo also houses the only captive population of locust coquis, critically endangered frogs from Puerto Rico.


The only portion of this exhibit open is a large elephant yard, and a smaller side yard that was once the only area for the zoo's Asian elephants. The exhibit now holds six Asian elephants in its herd. Rozana, also called Rozie, was born in the Rio Grande Zoo on November 8, 1992. On Sept. 2, 2009, Rozie gave birth to female elephant Daizy. Rozie is expecting her second calf due in November 2013. There is also an exhibit housing Bactrian camels nearby.

Seals and Sea Lions Exhibit[edit]

Large exhibit with underwater viewing tank that houses sea lions, gray seals, and harbor seals.

Australia/Koala Creek[edit]

This area is under construction, but the open areas to the public house koalas, Matschie's tree kangaroos, and walk-through budgerigars aviary. This area also is home to the zoo's Tasmanian devils. There are only two zoos in the US that house these animals. The zoo also has on exhibit the only Tasmanian wombats in the United States.


Exhibit holding slow loris and pygmy lorrises. The connected outdoor exhibit is home to a pair of black and white ruffed lemurs and a pair of blue-eyed black lemurs.


Six acres of land holding 17 separate exhibits and 23 species of mammals and birds. Mammals include chimpanzees, warthogs, red river hogs, cheetahs, Grévy's zebras, white rhinoceroses, hippopotami, klipspringer, De Brazza's monkey, spotted hyenas and African wild dogs. Birds include including marabou storks, Cape griffon vultures, lappet-faced vultures, wattled cranes, common ravens, hammerkops and saddle-billed storks.


Holds the zoo's gorillas, orangutans, and siamangs.

Fowl Play[edit]

An aviary exhibit which includes hyacinth macaw, sun conures, burrowing owl, and roadrunners.

Future exhibits[edit]

  • The zoo has begun construction on a third part of the gorilla exhibit. Following that, other renovations include an expansion of the jaguar yard, an addition of an otter exhibit, a new Gator Swamp for the growing gators, African bird aviary, plastic awareness exhibit, and an insectarium.
  • There are plans to open up a new section to the zoo's Australia exhibit to house the zoo's adult salt water crocodiles.
  • The zoo plans on opening an Asia exhibit. No further information has been given.
  • Penguins chill exhibit - The zoo plans opening a $7 million exhibit to house Antarctic penguins. Species include: king penguin, gentoo penguins.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Zoo". City of Albuquerque. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  2. ^ a b "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". AZA. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Rio Grande Zoo at Wikimedia Commons