The El Paso Zoo consists of 18-acres and is located in El Paso, Texas. The zoo is home to more than 240 animal species, which includes 500 mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians, 700 fish and 500 invertebrates. The animals live in a wide variety of natural habitats that include; a Reptile House, South American Pavilion, Birds of Prey, Forest Atrium, Americas Aviary, Asian Grasslands, Cisneros Paraje, Asian Endangered Walk, American Biome, Sea Lion Exhibit and an Elephant Complex.
The Mammals of Asia Exhibit invites visitors to discover the animals of Asia. Included in the exhibits are endangered Indochinese tigers, Asian elephants, Sumatran orangutans, siamangs, Malaysian tapirs and the Zoo's largest and most rare animal, the Amur leopard. The Asian exhibit also contains reptiles such as the Bengal monitor and Burmese pythons. Guests can also view Asian birds such as Bleeding Heart pigeons, White-eyed duck, Pink pigeons and Yellow-vented bulbuls.
The exhibit of the Americas includes the World of Sea Lion display, endangered Mexican wolves, the South American Pavilion, a Spider monkey display and the American Lands exhibit which showcases various types of animals living in harmony together. Some of the other animals that can be seen in the Americas exhibit include Spectacled bears, Desert cottontails, Inca terns, Wild turkeys, Diamond-backed rattlesnakes, Gila monsters, King Angelfish and Mexican Hogfish, along with many others.
Opened in 2008, the African Exhibit showcases animals from the continent of Africa. Guests can view African lions, Black rhinoceros, giraffes, leopards, cheetahs, buffalo, aardvarks, impalas and hedgehogs. Expansion plans include adding an even broader collection of animals to be included in the African exhibit, with construction due to be completed in 2009.
The El Paso Zoo recently began a new and innovative program called Zoo Adventures. The program is designed to provide visitors with an appreciation of animals, the value of natural resources and to invite people to rediscover a connection with nature. Revenue from the program is allotted for operational expenses of the zoo. The money is used to purchase food, provide veterinary care and improve habitats for the animals.
El Paso Zoo also has a daily encounter program at the zoo which allows visitors to witness California sea lion shows, Asian elephant training demonstrations and educational animal encounters. Also hosted at the zoo are weekend encounter programs which include California sea lions, Animal Encounters in the Cisneros Paraje, Asian elephant training demonstrations and Sun bear enrichment presentations.
The El Paso Zoo is a member of the AZA, Association for Zoos and Aquariums, and the mission is to endow visitors with an appreciation for nature, wildlife and conservation. The zoo is opened during the winter season, Sunday through Saturday from 9:30 am until 4:00 pm, and during the summer season, Monday through Friday from 9:30 am until 4:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 am until 5:00 pm.