Exotic Species Are Settling in at L.A. Zoo’s New Rain-Forest Exhibit

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The Los Angeles Zoo’s new Rainforest of the Americas exhibit doesn’t open until Tuesday, but it is already filled with commotion.


A bird featured in a new Los Angeles Zoo exhibit. (Credit: KTLA)

Dwarf caimans and a giant bird-eating spider were exploring the creature comforts of their enclosures this week. Construction workers were inspecting thermostats and water pumps.

The $19-million exhibit at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is the last in a series of major projects built under Phase 1 of the 47-year-old facility’s master plan. Over the last 15 years, the zoo has opened exhibits for some of its biggest draws: pachyderms, gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and Komodo dragons.

The rain-forest exhibit, spread across two acres, is designed to create the sensation of walking through luxuriant foliage teeming with exotic wildlife — and boost visitor numbers, revenue and international cooperation on behalf of endangered species pushed to the edges of their once broad native ranges.

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