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Scaly Slimy Spectacular slithers to Zoo Atlanta

Scaly Slimy Spectacular slithers to Zoo Atlanta

ATLANTA -- After nearly two years of construction, Zoo Atlanta's new reptile and amphibian exhibit will soon welcome its first visitors.

Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience replaces the zoo's old World of Reptiles Building. The $18 million exhibit houses about 100 animals representing more than 70 species found around the world.

Scaly Slimy Spectacular's animal identification signs are all interactive, featuring facts and videos about the exhibit's creatures. The experience also has game kiosks that allow visitors to answer questions, earn cards and even make their own animals. The game will soon be available on the zoo's mobile app.

The new reptile and amphibian center will open to the public on Thursday, Apr. 2. For more information, visit ssspectacular.zooatlanta.org.

Zoo Atlanta to hold 2 job fairs

Zoo Atlanta to hold 2 job fairs

ATLANTA -- Zoo Atlanta is preparing to hire for seasonal positions.

The zoo is looking for "dependable, enthusiastic and independent job seekers" to work as cashiers, sales associates, ride attendants, education instructors and more.

Zoo Atlanta will host two jobs fairs this week. The first will be Tuesday, Jan. 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the zoo. Applicants are asked to bring résumés.

The second fair will be Wednesday, Jan. 28 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, which is located at 99 West Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead.

Visit zooatlanta.org for more information.

Atlanta gorilla expert to lead Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

Atlanta gorilla expert to lead Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

(ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE) -- Tara Stoinski, Ph.D., a leading primatologist who has lived in Atlanta for 23 years, is the new president and chief executive officer of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. Stoinski will also serve as the organization's Chief Scientific Officer.

Stoinski has served part-time with the Fossey Fund since 2002, in the role of chief scientist and later as vice president. At the same time, she also served as director of primate research at Zoo Atlanta, where the Fossey Fund has its U.S. headquarters.

Zoo Atlanta silverback gorilla Taz loves popsicles

Zoo Atlanta silverback gorilla Taz loves popsicles

ATLANTA -- His name is Taz. He's 25 years old, a father of seven -- and he gets hot in the summer.

Taz, a silverback gorilla at Zoo Atlanta, loves popsicles. On hot days, he and other members of his gorilla group get to cool off with homemade popsicles that are a bit bigger than what can be purchased in the average grocery store.

Taz's popsicle contains frozen fruit, juice, water and food coloring -- pretty close to what a human would enjoy, except gorilla-sized popsicles are the size of a person's head.

Anyone who visits the zoo this month has a pretty good chance of watching Taz and his buddies enjoying an icy treat.

Zoo Atlanta's panda twins turn 1

Zoo Atlanta's panda twins turn 1

ATLANTA -- Happy birthday, Mei Lun and Mei Huan!

Zoo Atlanta's famous panda twins turn 1 on July 15, and the zoo has planned a special celebration in their honor.

The pandas' caregivers crafted two ice cakes with banana pieces inside. The cakes are shaped like the number 1. Mei Lun and Mei Huan will enjoy the cakes at 10:45 a.m. Tuesday; fans are invited to visit the zoo or tune in to PandaCam to watch the twins receive their birthday treat.

At 2:30 p.m., Zoo Atlanta will host a Google+ Hangout, also on PandaCam, in the pandas' honor. The zoo's panda keepers will join the hangout to share memories of the twins' births and first year.

Art Gone Wild to raise money for Zoo Atlanta

Art Gone Wild to raise money for Zoo Atlanta

ATLANTA -- Zoo Atlanta has teamed up with Cartersville's Booth Western Art Museum for a fundraising event.

Art Gone Wild, an art show and silent auction, will be held at the zoo on Saturday, June 14 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Attendees will bid on zoo-inspired artwork and mingle with the artists themselves during the event. All Art Gone Wild artists have agreed to donate 50 percent of their proceed from the auction to the zoo.

The event will also promote Art and the Animal, the current exhibition at Booth.

Art Gone Wild tickets are $35 for Zoo Atlanta members and $40 for non-members, and include zoo admission, entertainment during the event, and food and drinks.

Visit zooatlanta.org for more information.

Zoo Atlanta Sumatran orangutan is oldest of his species

Zoo Atlanta Sumatran orangutan is oldest of his species


ATLANTA -- Happy birthday, Alan! The Sumatran orangutan at Zoo Atlanta turns 43 this Saturday, May 3.

According to Zoo Atlanta, Alan is officially the oldest male Sumatran orangutan living in the North American population managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Orangutan Species Survival Plan. Orangutans are considered geriatric after age 35.

The zoo said Alan is known for his long hair, a fondness for shiny objects, and his long call -- a deep vocalization male orangutans use to impress females. Despite that distinct call, he has never fathered any baby orangutans.

Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered; experts believe fewer than 7,000 remain in the wild. Zoo Atlanta has 13 orangutans -- the largest collection in North America.