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The Emperor Valley Zoo

Caribbean Flamingos

The Emperor Valley Zoo in Trinidad is managed by the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago, which has been around since 1947. The Zoo itself was opened in November 1952, which means it is in 60th year of operation, in its lovely location opposite the Savannah.

From the website: “The Emperor Valley Zoo (EVZ) is situated adjacent to the Botanical Gardens, Port of Spain, Trinidad. The exhibits are spread over a 7.2 acreage, with much of the flora of the original site retained, thus enhancing the overall landscape.”

You can even go on a public holiday, as the zoo is open everyday of the year except Christmas Day, Carnival Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. You can check the website for feeding times for the animals, guided tours, and interactive activities – like petting the macaws or other friendly animals (under the guidance of a zoo official of course!)

I visited the zoo in December 2012, the day before a 16-foot 200-pound anaconda was discovered in Caroni (slithering across a roadway), and was taken to the zoo. I believe subsequent checks (including an ultrasound) may have revealed it was not after all pregnant, but believe me, the Emperor Valley Zoo had a surge of visitors in the New Year to ogle the massive snake. You can search online for the various news reports etc.

I always liked the location of the zoo in the North of Port of Spain, surrounded by the green areas of the city (The Botanical Gardens and the Queen’s Park Savannah) and at the foot of Lady Chancellor Hill. There have been refurbishments very recently, to the physical grounds and animals and you can check out the list of species on their website.

To the left are some Caribbean Flamingoes, which always pose wonderfully for photos.

Coolie Butterfly closeup

There is now a small forest-walk which would allow you to see red brocket deer (mazama american trinitatis) and quenk as you walk along a fenced path going up and around the far end of the zoo. One of other cool new improvements is the restructuring of the otter enclosure, which allows you to walk underground past a glass wall looking into the water where you can see the otters swimming.

The African Spurred Tortoise took some nice photos too! Even if he didn’t smile…

And there’s a butterfly garden…where, if you wait long enough in the bright bright sun, you can get a cool macro shot of a butterfly sitting on a flower.

And I know these last two posts were out of the blue, but maybe I can try to be more consistent…

The Flickr set of my visit to the Emperor Valley Zoo.

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