Today, the Los Angeles Zoo will open its doors to its newest exhibit: The LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates and Reptiles).
Encompassing six diversely themed exhibits, The LAIR is home to more than 60 unique and endangered species. The exhibit features both indoor and outdoor settings where the public can view keepers at work carrying out the animals’ daily care.
Animal residents will include the Chinese salamander; the world’s largest amphibian; several poison dart frog species; giant horned lizards; Fiji island banded iguanas; the venomous gila monster and beaded lizard; Fly River turtles; scorpions; centipedes; false gharials, an endangered species of crocodile; and an array of snakes which include the Mang Shan viper, green mamba, and bushmaster. The LAIR will provide a foundation for the Zoo’s reptile and amphibian conservation initiatives.
“It’s been exciting to see the pieces fall together to create this new exhibit featuring exceptional and unique amphibians, invertebrates, and reptiles,” said Los Angeles Zoo Curator of Reptiles and Amphibians, Ian Recchio. “Even more exciting is providing the opportunity for thousands of people to view creatures so rare and unusual that most will never have the possibility of seeing them in person.”
In fact, the Los Angeles Zoo’s reptile collection is one of the rarest in the nation and is partially the result of a two-year sting operation headed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS). A Malaysian smuggler’s collection of Komodo dragons, Chinese alligators, false gharials, Burmese and star tortoises was confiscated by officials at the USFWS. The entire confiscation was placed into the care of the Los Angeles Zoo due to the agency’s high regard for the quality of care the professional staff at the Zoo provides its animals.