Just in time for Spring Break, Complex Carnivores, a new series of exhibits at Zoo Atlanta, opened last Friday, April 1. The exhibits opened in tandem with the opening of a new ice cream outlet presented by Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, Zoo Atlanta’s newest on-site partner.

Complex Carnivores welcomes an exciting assortment of fresh faces, introducing three species new to the Zoo. Davi and Ernesto, 18-month-old bush dogs native to South America, are only the Zoo’s second canine species. Their neighbors are Logan, a 6-year-old male fossa native to Madagascar, and Timber, a 12-year-old female binturong, from southeast Asia. Next door to naturalistic homes for Davi, Ernesto, Logan and Timber, a new carnivorous plant bog will showcase predatory plants, including Venus fly traps, pitcher plants and sundews. The bog’s carnivorous plants were donated by the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Complex Carnivores is the second phase of a larger exhibit complex begun in June 2010 with the opening of Trader’s Alley: Wildlife’s Fading Footprints, which showcased the debut of Malayan sun bears Xander and Sabah. As part of this second phase, Complex Carnivores also features updated viewing of the Zoo’s Sumatran tigers and clouded leopard. New tiger training demonstrations, never before presented on public view at Zoo Atlanta, will provide guests with a close personal view as animal care professionals share the tools of their trade in working with these magnificent cats. Tiger training demos begin in summer 2011.

Just up the path from Complex Carnivores will be a delectable assortment of new treats for human omnivores. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream opens its newest ice cream stand at Zoo Atlanta on April 1. Founded in 1989 in Bridgewater, Pa., Bruster’s features premium ice cream flavored with fine natural ingredients, including candies, fruit and nuts. Ice creams and homemade waffle cones are made fresh in each Bruster’s location.

We had the privilege of talking to the Curator of Mammals, Dr. Rebecca Snyder. She explained to us all about the new carnivores!


[audio: DrRebeccaSnyder.mp3]