The tropical rainforest is an area with many tall trees, a warm year round temperature (about 70-90 degrees), and yearly rainfall of 100 to 260 inches. The rainforest has many different layers. Some live all the way at the bottom, on the forest floor; some live in the middle, on tree branches, vines, and shorter trees; and some live way up high in the tree tops. Here at the Zoo you will find that our enclosures have lots of vines, trees, shrubs, and other natural climbing structures, just like in the wild. Our tiger exhibit even has a pool and a waterfall for them to explore.
Ever wonder why some of the enclosures have a river of water around them? Or, why the Blue and Gold Macaws don't fly away? Well some species, like our White-Handed Gibbons and Siamangs are not great swimmers. In the wild, they avoid crossing streams and rivers. In an effort to create the most natural space possible and keep them safe, the Oakland Zoo opted for a river instead of glass windows. It's easier for you to view them, it's not as much work to take care of, and it's more natural for them. As for the macaws - they have special strong feathers on their wings that help them take off for flight. When these feathers get too long, the Zoo Keepers give them a trim to shorten them, which makes it impossible for them to fly away. It's just like when you get a haircut.
The Oakland Zoo is always trying to re-create the most natural habitat for the animals. In 2012 construction was finished on a new climbing structure for both the Chimpanzees and the Tigers. In addition to our on-site efforts, the Zoo is contstantly trying to raise awareness for the many species of rainforest animals that are endangered due to hunting and habitat distruction. See our Conservation Page for more information and ways you can help.
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