Channel your inner adventurer and enter a tropical paradise with ‘Eureka!’ our walk-through habitat…
Due to Covid-19 precautions, the Activities & Education Centre is currently closed. We apologise for any disappointment.
‘Eureka’ invites our guests on a voyage of discovery around South America and its amazing inhabitants and their incredible adaptations! It is home to a variety of animals, including two-toed sloths, titi monkeys, tortoises, and our new dwarf caiman! As well as free-flying birds and butterflies.
‘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!
Linne’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus)
This sloth is found in tropical forests from Venezuela and the Guianas into the Amazon Basin, spending most of its time up in the trees. In fact they only come down to change feeding trees or to defecate (Mind your head!)
Coppery titi monkey (Callicebus cupreus)
Coppery titi monkeys are arboreal (tree-dwelling) monkeys found in the tropical rainforests of South America, where they live in small family groups. 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, where
they feed on fruit and nuts. They are named after the 18th Century Spanish naturalist Felix de Azara.
White-faced tree duck (Dendrocygna viduata)
White-faced tree ducks have a wide distribution across South America, but are also found in Africa and Madagascar. They are found in large groups near freshwater lakes, marshes, rivers and floodplains, where they are often active at night. These ducks produce a characteristic three note whistle-like call, giving rise to their alternate name of ‘whistling ducks’
Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber)
Scarlet ibis are found in coastal swamps, estuaries and rice fields. They feed on a variety of prey including crustaceans, small fish and even frogs or tadpoles. They can be recognised by their striking colour, which varies from red to pink depending on individuals, season and food.
Sunbittern (Eurypyga helias)
Sunbitterns are found near streams and ponds in the rainforests of Central and South America. They feed on a variety of aquatic animals such as beetles, dragonflies and small fish. These birds have a brilliant ‘sunburst’ pattern of red and yellow under their wings, which they use in mating displays, hence the name ‘sunbittern’.
Cuvier’s dwarf caiman (Paleosuchus palpebrosus)
The dwarf caiman is one of the smallest crocodilians – growing to around 1.5 metres in length. They are nocturnal predators, feeding on frogs, fish and a variety of small mammals. Young feed on insects and other invertebrates.
Red-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria)
Red-footed tortoises grow to between 30 and 50cm in length, with males larger than females. In the wild these tortoises feed on fruit and flowers and will also consume soil, sand, fungi and even carrion (dead animals).
Different butterflies can be seen at different times of the year including;
Postman butterfly (Heliconius melpomene)
These butterflies are found across the Americas, from Mexico to South America, in open terrain or forest edges. They show a huge variety of patterns across their range, but bright red colouration is a warning to predators that they are poisonous to eat! This is known as aposematic colouring.
Zebra-winged butterfly (Heliconius charithonia)
Zebra longwings are and are named for their striking pattern, which is unique in each butterfly! They are unusual as they eat pollen as well as nectar. Their caterpillars feed on passionflower leaves.
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).