Ethiopian Highlands Habitat Opens at Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks
Guests at the San Diego Zoo today (Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017) are being treated to a special Thanksgiving Day surprise: All 14 acres of the Zoo’s Africa Rocks habitats are now open for the public to enjoy—and six male geladas have moved into the brand-new Ethiopian Highlands habitat. Yesterday, before guests were welcomed in, these mountain-dwelling primates were given full access to their new habitat, to explore and play. The gelada group entered the space, jumped on rocks, climbed trees, dug for buried food and basked in the sunlight.
The geladas will eventually share their space with Nubian ibex, a species of wild goat—known for their massive curved horns—that lives in the desert of eastern Africa and the Middle East. This species is categorized as Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. The Ethiopian Highlands habitat in Africa Rocks will also include a large group of hamadryas baboons, expected to make their Zoo debut within the next two weeks.
The The Zoo’s 8-acre, $68 million Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks allows guests to stroll along a gently winding pathway through distinct biodiverse zones of Africa, with state-of-the-art animal habitats and garden spaces. All habitat sections are currently open: Cape Fynbos, featuring African penguins and leopard sharks; West African Forest, featuring West African dwarf crocodiles and Gaboon forest turtles; the Kopje, featuring dwarf mongooses, rock hyrax and meerkats; Madagascar Forest, featuring fossas and lemurs; Acacia Woodland, featuring vervet monkeys, leopards and a wide variety of birds; and Ethiopian Highlands, featuring geladas, and the soon-to-arrive Nubian ibex and hamadryas baboons. Guests can also visit the African Garden, near the Ethiopian Highlands area, showcasing eye-catching and unusual plants—including many never seen before at the Zoo, and some that are highly endangered.