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Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Chattanooga Zoo

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Recently my daughter and I visited the Chattanooga Zoo for the second time.  The first time, we were not really all that impressed.  There weren't many animals.  We spent about an hour there.  When we left, we felt like it wasn't worth the money . . . BUT . . . BUT . . . BUT . . . I'm so glad we gave it a second chance a few weeks ago.  They have added many animals and they are still building.  It was well worth the visit.

Image Credits:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove) - Collage Created in Picmonkey
This time, it was just my adult daughter and me visiting the Chattanooga Zoo so we took our time and enjoyed the day.  I took so many pictures.  I'm going to show you a lot of them, but if you are in the Chattanooga, Tennessee area, you need to stop by and visit this zoo.  We found that the animals are clean, well kept, and appear to be well treated.

The first thing we did was visit the chimpanzee training area.  The trainers explained that they never share space with the chimpanzees.  Well, I hope not!  They showed us how the chimps present their body parts through the fence so that the trainers can check their heart rate and all the other things they need to check without entering their habitat.

Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Aren't the chimpanzees cute?  

This little guy is a Desert Horned Lizard.  Horned lizards obviously love the hot weather.  They eat ants, grasshoppers, and even spiders.  They camouflage themselves into the dirt and sand.  Learn more about horned lizards at the Horned Lizard Conservation Society here.

Desert Horned Lizard - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living
The next little guy is a Great Basin Collard Lizard.  These lizards can run on their hind legs.  They eat insects and other reptiles.  They even eat other collard lizards!  Learn more about collard lizards here at the Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum Collard Lizard Fact Sheet.
Great Basin Collard Lizard - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Collard Lizard - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)

Here we have a Spiny Tailed Monitor.  Spiny tailed monitors are known for the stripes on their necks.  Their tails can grow to twice as long as their heads and bodies combined.  Learn more about the spiny tailed monitor here at Reptiles Magazine.

Spiny Tailed Monitor - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Spiny Tailed Monitor - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Next up is the venomous Banded Rock Rattlesnake.  This little creature is found in the southwestern United States and Northern Mexico.  Banded rock rattlesnakes grow to lengths between 23 and 27 inches long, but some males have grown to 31 inches long.  They eat lizards, small mammals, birds, and other snakes.  They swallow their meals whole.  Learn more about banded rock rattlesnakes here at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
Banded Rock Rattlesnake - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
I don't like snakes at all, but I took these pictures for those who do.  This one is called a Puff Adder.  Puff Adders are found is Sub-Saharan Africa and and southwestern Saudi Arabia.  The puff adder spends most of its life in camouflage mode.  Learn more about the puff adder here at the African Snake Bite Institute.

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Puff Adder - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Here's a fun one!  The old Roadrunner cartoon was one of my favorites while I was growing up so I was excited to see a real one.  I'm not sure I've ever seen a real one.  Roadrunners are fascinating little creatures.  They live in the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.  They were born to run.  Roadrunners can outrun humans and kill rattlesnakes.  Learn more about roadrunners here at All About Birds.

Roadrunner - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)

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I think this is one of the cutest animals we visited at the Chattanooga Zoo.  This is a Fennec Fox.  The Fennec Fox is the world's smallest fox.  They live in Africa's Sahara Desert but the heat doesn't bother them too much because they are nocturnal.  They eat almost anything.  Learn more about the Fennec Fox here at Wildlife Learning Center.

Fennec Fox - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
I didn't know that mole rats are not moles or rats.  These little guys are Naked Mole Rats.  Apparently, the naked mole rat is more like a porcupine.  The naked mole rat lives its entire life underground.  They grow to approximately 3 inches long.  The largest member of the colony is the queen and she can weigh a whole 2.5 ounces.  Personally, these are ugly little creatures.  Learn more about the naked mole rat here at Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

Naked Mole Rats - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Have you ever heard of a Rhinoceros Iguana?  It gets its name from the horn like structures on its head.  It loves the sun.  The rhinoceros iguana can live about 20 years, sometimes a little longer.  Learn more about the rhinoceros iguana here at the Sea World website.  

Rhinoceros Iguana - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
This is a Spotted Sea Turtle.  They spend most of their time in slow moving shallow waters.

Spotted Sea Turtle - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Spotted Sea Turtle - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
The Bobcat is the most common wild cat species in North America.  They live in forests, grasslands, and swamps.  Humans don't see them very often because they are pretty sneaky animals and they mostly move at night.  To learn more about bobcats, visit the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute here.

Bobcat - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
Bobcat - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
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The Snow Leopard is one beautiful animal.  This one was absolutely gorgeous.  Snow Leopards are considered to be medium sized cats.  They live in the mountains of Central Asia.  Learn more about the Snow Leopard here.

Snow Leopard - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
 A Closer Look

Snow Leopard - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
The cougar was a pretty impressive animal to visit as well.  A cougar usually weighs about 136 pounds.  Some other names for the cougar are mountain lion, puma, and panther.  They like to eat deer, coyote, raccoons, and porcupines.  Learn more about the cougar at National Geographic here.

Cougar - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
The Golden Lion Tamarin is one of the most endangered species in the world.  There home is found in the Atlantic Coastal Forests of Brazil.  They live almost entirely in the trees.  Learn more about the Golden Lion Tamarin at the Zoo Atlanta website here.

Golden Lion Tamarin - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
 

We loved the gorgeous colors of the beautiful rainforest birds.  Macaws are known for their beautiful feather colors, but they blend into their natural habitats well which includes green leaves, yellow flowers, and red fruits.  The heaviest of the birds weigh a little more than three pounds.  The lightest weigh less than 5 ounces!  Some can fly as fast as 40 miles per hour.  The Macaw beak is so strong that it can crush a human knuckle.  Ouch!  Learn more about these beautiful Macaw birds at the Sand Diego Zoo website here.

Macaws (Rainforest Birds) - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
The Jaguar is known to be the largest cat in the New World.  They mostly live in Central and South America.  They are nocturnal hunters.  The jaguar has large jaw muscles and sharp teeth so they can eat almost anything.  The jaguar has the second strongest jaws in the world.  Only the hyena has stronger jaws.  Learn more about the jaguar at Defenders of Wildlife here.

Jaguar - Image Credit:  Abundant Family Living (Tina Truelove)
What an impressive animal!

These are some of the animals we visited at the Chattanooga Zoo.  There were also lots of deer, beautiful peacocks, coyotes, cattle, a Great Horned Owl (which was beautiful but my photo was terrible), spider monkeys, and spiders. 

A Chattanooga Zoo employee told me that they have added so much to the zoo in recent years and they are adding a lot more.  This is not a zoo I would travel for days to see or buy a plane ticket to visit YET, but it's getting there.  However, if you happen to be visiting the Chattanooga area, the Chattanooga Zoo is a great way to spend a few hours.  My daughter and I enjoyed our day and since we visit Chattanooga often, we will most definitely go back. 

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Collage Created in Picmonkey

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