The indoor enclosure is home to a select number of diverse animals including red-footed tortoise, Egyptian fruit bats, coppery titi monkey, azara’s agouti, Victoria crowned pigeon, sunbittern, senegal turaco and zebra long-winged butterfly and a Linne’s two-toed sloth.
The large building has been two years in the making and replaces what was the first and original zoo animal house when it opened in 1968.
The building has a 60kw air sourced heat pump which will provide concentrated hot water to the underfloor heating and the air space heating system, whilst the irrigation system for the extensive planting is provided mainly from the roof water collection tanks. Triple glazed translucent roofing sheets provide a huge amount of natural light whilst retaining the heating and an inbuilt thermostatically controlled roof venting system will provide natural cooling during the summer, assisted by cooler air entering from louvered vents located in both sides of the building.
Eureka! Species List / Quick facts!
Red-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria)
In the wild these tortoises feed on fruit and flowers and will also consume soil, sand, fungi and even carrion.
Egyptian fruit bats (Rousettus aegyptiacus)
Egyptian fruit bats feeds on soft fruit, flowers and occasionally leaves. They are important pollinators and seed distributors.
Coppery titi monkey (Callicebus cupreus)
Their tail plays an important role in pair bonding as male and female partners intertwine their tails while they sleep!
Azara’s agouti (Dasyprocta azarae)
This little-known animal is a type of rodent found in the rainforests of South America. It is named after the 18th Century Spanish naturalist Felix de Azara.
Goldfish (Carassius auratus)
Despite the common adage, goldfish actually have a memory-span of at least three months and can distinguish between different shapes, colours and sounds.
Victoria crowned pigeon (Goura victoria)
Victoria crowned pigeons are classed as ‘Vulnerable’ in the wild and there are many conservation actions in place to protect these birds, including a successful captive breeding programme and protection by law in Papua New Guinea. Ours have bred well here at Banham Zoo.
Green-winged dove (Chalcophaps indica)
Green-winged doves are mainly ground dwellers that feed on a variety of plants, seeds and fallen fruit. Their slender beak is especially adapted for eating seeds.
Hottentot teal (Anas hottentota)
The hottentot teal is the smallest species of dabbling duck in the world! They are found in Africa and Madagascar, in shallow freshwater pools, marshes and swamps.
Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias)
These birds have a brilliant ‘sunburst’ pattern of red and yellow under their wings, which they use in mating displays, hence the name ‘sunbittern’.
Senegal turaco (Tauraco persa buffoni)
The Senegal turaco, also known as the Buffon’s turaco, feeds mainly on fruit and seeds and is a very important seed disperser.
Postman butterfly (Heliconius melpomene)
These butterflies show a huge variety of patterns and colours, including red, yellow and black patches, which warn predators that they are poisonous!
Zebra-winged butterfly (Heliconius charithonia)
These butterflies are unusual as they eat pollen as well as nectar. Their caterpillars feed on passionflower leaves. Found in North & South America, they are the state butterfly of Florida!
Linne’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus)
Sloths are related to armadillos and anteaters (Order Xenartha) and are solitary and mainly nocturnal. Unlike most mammals their fur grows downwards and is also grooved, allowing algae to collect and grow giving the sloth a perfect green camouflage!
Exotic plants, trees, shrubs and bulbs have been carefully planted around the walkway and are already enjoying their new home, with new leaves, shoots and flowers coming to life.
Plants of interest: Mango, banana, red banana, loquat, fatsia, passionflower, giant taro, bird of paradise plant, canna lily, fiddle-leaf fig.