Banham’s immersive enclosure ‘Eureka!’ opened to our guests for the first time in May 2013.
The large building took two years to build and replaced the first zoo animal house which opened in 1968. ‘Eureka’ invites our guests on a voyage of discovery around the world to find out all about its amazing inhabitants and their incredible adaptations! It is home to a variety of animals, including two-toed sloths, titi monkeys, tortoises and bats as well as free-flying birds and butterflies. It’s not just the animals that are the stars of this enclosure – plants receive top billing as well, with a beautiful show of colour and scents throughout the year. ‘Eureka’ is the perfect place to warm up on a cold day, see some amazing animals up close, or learn a little more about the exotic plants that bring the enclosure to life!
Eureka! Species List / Quick facts!
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.
Linne’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus)
This sloth is found in tropical forests, spending most of its time up in the trees where it feeds on leaves and fruit – in fact they only come down to change feeding trees or to defecate!
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.
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.
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.
Different butterflies can be seen at different times of the year including;
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!
Plants of interest: Mango, banana, red banana, Loquat, Fatsia, passionflower, giant taro, bird of paradise plant, canna lily, fiddle-leaf fig, hanging lobster claw (Heliconius flower).