Safari! Enjoy panoramic views of a three-acre re-created
African savanna. See zebra, giraffe, kudu, warthog, impala, Soemmerring's
gazelles and even an ostrich roaming the grasslands. African elephants make the
picture-perfect view complete. Look far to the right and see African lions
lazing in their exhibit.
As you travel through the African area of the zoo, you’ll meet up with a mob
of mischievous meerkats and a group of black-footed penguins. A large troop of
Colobus monkeys share their habitat with bongos and yellow-backed duikers. Of
course, Africa isn’t complete without seeing the world's fastest land mammal –
This speedy cat is the fastest terrestrial animal
reaching speeds of about 60 mph. Everything about a cheetah
is built for speed – from large nasal openings to big
lungs, from pads on the paws for sprinting to a very
flexible spine for fast changes in direction. Although this
cat can run fast, it is a sprinter, only able to maintain
the incredible quickness for a few yards.
The cheetah is diurnal (active during daylight hours).
It hunts small to medium-sized hoof stock, but will also
take smaller prey, i.e. hares. The cheetah’s hunting tactic
is to outrun its prey, however most hunting attempts fail
and an adult may only hunt every two to five days.
Lions are unique among the cats in that they are the
only member of the cat family that lives in social groups
called prides. The core of a pride consists of a closed
society of lionesses, usually related, who share the care
of their small cubs, and one to four males. The males of
the pride are replaced by younger, stronger males about
every three to five years. The pride is adapted to
cooperative hunting. Generally lionesses hunt more often
than the males.
A giraffe is so very well adapted for its life of
eating tree leaves. That five foot long neck allows the
giraffe to reach those yummy leaves and the 18 inch long
prehensile (able to grasp) tongue is perfect for stripping
leaves from their branches. One of the giraffe’s favorite
foods is the leaf from the acacia tree – a tree with two
inch long, sharp thorns – but the giraffe’s tongue is tough
and leather-like with small fleshy spines on its upper
surface to protect it from all those prickly thorns. And,
what's even more amazing is that the giraffe's tongue is a
dark purplish-black to protect it from sunburn.
There's a mob of meerkats calling Caldwell Zoo home.
These rambunctious bundles of fur are always busy –
digging, watching, exploring.
Slender-tailed meerkats are found in southern Africa.
They live in elaborate burrows with multiple
entrances/exits. These relatives of the mongoose are very
social, usually living in a clan or mob of about 20
individuals. Like prairie dogs, meerkats usually have a
sentry standing guard over the group. If a predator comes
near, the sentry will bark or whistle a warning, giving the
gang time to run to shelter.