Friday, April 7, 2017

Sights to See: Emperor Valley Zoo, Port of Spain, Trinidad


Emperor Valley Zoo  Port of Spain.  Daily 9:30am-6pm.  TT30/US$5, under age 13 TT15.  Named for the giant iridescent blue butterfly that once populated this valley, this small 7-acre zoo has been here since 1952 and is the largest in the Caribbean.  It is currently being expanded and upgrading exhibits as it aims for accreditation.  Assistant curator Richard Wallace says the aim is “to be a small San Diego Zoo.”  It has an extensive collection of local animals (crab-eating raccoons, boa constrictors) and birds (the Trinidad motmot) plus flamingos from the San Diego Zoo.  Two large South American River Turtles are the oldest in Trinidad and have been here since the zoo opened.  I saw two Trinidad white-fronted capuchin monkeys busy grooming each other, and two bright pink scarlet ibis perched way back in an enclosure.  A circular path takes you past  most exhibits.  Two 3-year-old giraffes from Texas are the first in the Caribbean.  A contest named them Melman (children’s choice, from “Madagascar” movie) and Mandela (adult’s choice, to honor Nelson, who had just died).  The zoo has five white Bengal tigers, two of which were born at the zoo and are the first to be born in Trinidad and the Caribbean.  If you visit, be sure to apply insect repellent.  My souvenir was a bite, probably from a sand fly, and it left me with big red welts for several days--probably an allergic reaction.  Note that the local natural treatment is to rub a lime on bites.  


blue macaw at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad
blue macaw at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad


flamingoes at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad
flamingoes at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad


turtles at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad
turtles at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad


Trinidad white-fronted capuchin monkeys at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad
Trinidad white-fronted capuchin monkeys at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad


scarlet Ibis at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad
scarlet Ibis at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad
giraffe at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad
giraffe at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad


baboon at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad
baboon at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad
 

playground at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad
playground at Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad

More things to do in Trinidad.

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images ©2017 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

7 comments:

  1. What a great idea to be a small San Diego zoo. I seem to be having a love affair with turtles these days so that photo caught my heart!

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  2. There is so much to see at the Emperor Valley zoo. The baboon looks like it wants to make an escape! Love your pictures.

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  3. Some lovely colourful animals at the Emperor Valley Zoo. I love the blue macaw!

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  4. Tropical birds always get my attention and the macaws and flamingos are always among my favorites. However, I think the scarlet ibis was the showstopper this time as I've only seen white ibis until now. Truly gorgeous! Ooh, and I sympathize with you on the sand fly bites. I spent much time up and down the Caribbean coast with huge red welts on my legs as I too was allergic to them. Miserable!

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    1. More on the scarlet ibis is to come as I write posts about this trip.

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