Magazine article Sunset

Sun Bear Forest: New Jungle Exhibit at the San Diego Zoo

Magazine article Sunset

Sun Bear Forest: New Jungle Exhibit at the San Diego Zoo

Article excerpt

A hundred acres every minute: that's the rate at which the world is bulldozing and burning its tropical rain forests. But the San Diego Zoo is reversing that process, albeit at a slower pace: 1 1/2 acres in six months. The zoo's new equatorial rain-forest exhibit, Sun Bear Forest, offers a world of streams, waterfalls, 5,000 tropical plants, and the lingering smell of ginger in the air. Beneath the jungle canopy, you'll see five sun bears (at a mature weight of up to 1 50 pounds, the smallest species of bear; a black bear can grow to 600 pounds). You'll also see a troop of rare lion-tailed macaques (only 2,000 live in the wild) cavorting in a primate pleasure dome of climbing trees and rubber vines," and an aviary full of rare birds, including the remarkably named chestnut-backed scimitar-billed babbler. Sun Bear Forest is part of a S 1 50 million zoo redevelopment project that groups animals to more accurately duplicate their native ecosystems. …

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