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​This month, the Johannesburg Zoo is focusing on endangered species, with tours visiting its animals that are threatened and even extinct in the wild.
VISITORS to the Johannesburg Zoo will learn more about endangered species this month on the Endangered Species Tour and in talks with experts.

Black rhinosVisitors will learn about endangered species like the black rhinoThe aim of the tour and talks is educational. The tour guide will lead visitors to five of the zoo’s animals, which are extinct in the wild or are critically endangered, such as the scimitar horned oryx, the black and white ruffed lemur, the black rhino and the Bactrian camel.

According the zoo’s marketing assistant, Candice Segal, this month visitors are able to buy a map with information about the park’s endangered species. There are also awareness posters at species’ enclosures for people to learn more about these animals.

Segal encourages people to visit the facility to learn about why so many species have become endangered. The Endangered Species Tour costs R55 and it takes two hours. Tour times are 10am to 12pm and 2pm to 4pm.

There is a feast of other activities that can also be enjoyed. Among them, the zoo is giving visitors a rare opportunity to be part of the animals’ feeding. During feeding times, keepers will give talks about each animal.

“Each species is given a particular diet with a certain amount of food based on their age and weight,” explains Letta Madlala, the zoo’s brand and communications manager.

Chimpanzees
The public feeding sessions take place on weekends and public holidays at the enclosures of animals such as chimpanzees, vultures, polar bears and crocodiles, among others. For more information on the times and enclosures of the sessions, visit the zoo’s website.

A chimp enjoys a mealA chimp enjoying a mealIt is also fun to visit the babies that were born at the zoo in the past year, and witness as they start to adapt to their environment under the watchful eyes of their mothers. “Zoo babies are easy to locate with our new baby flags at the enclosures,” says Madlala.

These zoo babies include various types of sheep, common hippo, flamingos, bushbuck, black buck and red tailed guenon.
Family Days at the Zoo can be enjoyed any time of the year. Such a day is perfect for corporate team building, family get-togethers and group activities. The day offers young and old the opportunity to participate in unique activities.

“The day consists of games, photo opportunities with animals, enjoyable animal encounters told by our tour guides, and much more.”

Also on offer are a number of tours such as day tour, night tour and behind the scene tour. Madlala says skilled tour guides take visitors through the zoo and offer insightful information about the zoo’s animals. “The tours suit any age and group.”
Booking is essential for the tours. Contact Letta Madlala on 011 646 2000 extension 225 or email her on letta.madlala@jhbzoo.org.za, or Candice Segal on 011 646 2000 or email candice.segal@jhbzoo.org.za.

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