Chapultepec Zoo

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Chapultepec Zoo
Chapultepec Zoo logo
Date opened1924
LocationChapultepec, Mexico
Coordinates19°25′26.11″N 99°11′21.18″W / 19.4239194°N 99.1892167°W / 19.4239194; -99.1892167Coordinates: 19°25′26.11″N 99°11′21.18″W / 19.4239194°N 99.1892167°W / 19.4239194; -99.1892167
Land area17 acres
Number of animals1930
Number of species250
Annual visitors5.5 million
Websitewww.chapultepec.df.gob.mx
 
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Chapultepec Zoo
Chapultepec Zoo logo
Date opened1924
LocationChapultepec, Mexico
Coordinates19°25′26.11″N 99°11′21.18″W / 19.4239194°N 99.1892167°W / 19.4239194; -99.1892167Coordinates: 19°25′26.11″N 99°11′21.18″W / 19.4239194°N 99.1892167°W / 19.4239194; -99.1892167
Land area17 acres
Number of animals1930
Number of species250
Annual visitors5.5 million
Websitewww.chapultepec.df.gob.mx
Chapultepec zoo map.

Chapultepec Zoo (Spanish: Zoológico de Chapultepec) is a zoo located in Chapultepec Park; it is one of four zoos near Mexico City, and the best known Mexican zoo. It was founded July 6, 1923 by Mexican biologist Alfonso Luis Herrera using donations from private citizens and governmental funds from the Ministry of Agriculture and Development, and also with funds from the Society of Biological Studies. The zoo is rather popular after a recent renovation begun in 1992 which took two years; estimates of its popularity range from 5.5 million visitors per year to as much as 8 million, who all come to see its large collection of almost 2000 animals from more 200 different species.[1] It is the second largest zoo in Mexico after the Guadalajara Zoo in Guadalajara, Jalisco.

History[edit]

The zoo opened in 1924. The biologist Alfonso L. Herrera, founder of Chapultepec Zoo, wanted to recreate the famous zoo and aviary of Moctezuma II. He wanted to exhibit the native species for Mexicans, along with other species from the rest of the world. The collection would include mammals, birds and reptiles, as well as an aquarium.

After several visits to the United States, Herrera obtained the first animals for the zoo, three lion cubs and two American bison. The native animals came from different Mexican states like Sonora, Veracruz and Campeche, while other animals were exchanged with countries like India, France, Peru and Brazil. This first collection consisted of 243 animals.

Between 1950 and 1960, the zoo had the sole purpose of being a place of recreation that exhibited several popular animal species. Ernesto P. Uruchurtu, mayor of the city during that decade, gave new impetus to the zoo, new species were acquired and the entire collection was renovated. Some of the animals that were acquired back then are still in the collection more than half a century later.

The zoo received a pair of giant pandas in September 1975 as a gift from the People's Republic of China. Since then, eight giant pandas have been born in Chapultepec Zoo, becoming the first institution outside of China where captive breeding of this species has been successful.

During the period from June 24, 1992 and August 1, 1994, Chapultepec Zoo was completely remodeled through the project "Ecological Rescue Chapultepec Zoo." A multidisciplinary group including experts in various areas such as designers, engineers, biologists and veterinarians worked in all aspects of the project, seeking to cover the four major objectives of a modern zoo, i.e., recreation, education, research and conservation of wildlife . For over seventy years, the exhibition was classified according to the taxonomic groups: primates, felines, canines, herbivores, birds, reptiles, etc.. The concept has changed to reflect the fact that the animals live together in nature, so now are grouped according to bio-climatic zones according to their natural habitat. There are four climates, cold and wet (temperate forest and coastal), cold and dry (grassland), hot and humid (tropical rainforest) hot and dry (arid and savanna). Mexico has all these regions, and at the beginning of each exhibit animals native to the country are exhibited. Exhibits were built trying to recreate a natural habitat for each species, which gives visitors a better understanding of nature and provides the animal enrichment.

Chapultepec Zoo houses some important native species that are endangered or threatened such as the volcano rabbit, the Mexican wolf, jaguar, thick-billed parrot, ocellated turkey, axolotl and the red-kneed tarantula.

The Chapultepec Zoo is involved with various conservation projects, using both natural and artificial methods. With this purpose in 1998, a reproductive physiology laboratory was established. The collaboration with national and international institutions is part of the work the Chapultepec Zoo does for the benefit of conservation of wildlife.

Giant Pandas[edit]

A panda playing on playground equipment.

The zoo is especially famous for its success in giant panda breeding; in 1980 Chapultepec Zoo became the first institution outside of China to successfully breed in captivity the endangered species. In total there have been eight live births at the zoo. Currently two female giant pandas live at the zoo: Shuan Shuan and Xin Xin.

In May 2011, the Mexico City Government announced that the three females at the zoo would be inseminated using Chinese sperm.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ History of Chapultepec Zoo (Spanish - accessed 23 Dec. 2010).
  2. ^ a b c "Giant Pandas at Chapultepec Zoo". giantpandazoo.com. GiantPandaZoo. Retrieved 28 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Alistan fecundación de pandas en el Zoológico de Chapultepec". eluniversal.com.mx. El Universal. Retrieved June 5, 2012. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]