The Sacramento Zoo is home to more than 500 rare, exotic and endangered animals. Some of the animals at the Zoo can only be found in a few Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited facilities and in rare cases, only at the Sacramento Zoo. Next time you are at the Zoo, be on the lookout for some of the not-often seen animals representing their species in Sacramento.
You will not see another Green Acouchi like our girl in the country, that is because she is the only female of her species in the United States. The Green Acouchi is native to areas of South America and is represented in European Zoos as a European Association of Zoos and Aquariums (EAZA) program, but not in the United States. At six-years-old Sami is enjoying her middle age retirement years at the Sacramento Zoo.
Yucatan Dwarf Club-tailed Iguana
The Yucatan Dwarf Club-tailed Iguana is the only one of his kind at an AZA-facility. He was donated to the Sacramento Zoo in 1992 and has lived in the Reptile House ever since. The species is native to the Northern Yucatan Peninsula in southeastern Mexico.
Giant Garter Snake
When winding your way through the Zoo’s Reptile House you will come across many native animals to California, including the Giant Garter Snake. The Sacramento Zoo is one of two facilities in the country, the other being the California Living Museum, to have a representative of the species. The female at the Zoo was injured in the wild and unable to care for herself which is how she ended up at the Sacramento Zoo. The Giant Garter Snake is considered a Threatened species due to loss of habitat throughout its endemic range in central California and is a species of concern for the state of California.
The Sacramento Zoo’s Veterinary Medicine Department participates in the Giant Garter Snake Recovery Program by giving full examinations and placing transmitters into wild Giant Garter Snakes so that their movements and behaviors can be tracked by biologists in an effort to better understand their survival needs.
Buton or Knobbed Hornbills
There are nine Knobbed (or Buton) Hornbills in the United States, two of which live at the Sacramento Zoo. They are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Vulnerable, are one of 54 species of hornbills. An amazing fact about them is that their wing strokes can be heard up to a half mile away! This is because they lack the cover layer of feathers (coverts) so air passes loudly through their flight feathers.