Immersive Komodo Kingdom and Rare Hummingbird Experience Now Open

| July 3, 2021 | 0 Comments

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s commitment to inspire people to become wildlife allies was emphasized this morning as San Diego Zoo officials and San Diego City Council President Pro Tem Stephen Whitburn unveiled two brand-new habitats. With a crowd of invited guests and members of the press, Zoo officials and Whitburn cut the ribbon opening the Kenneth C. Griffin Komodo Kingdom and the William E. Cole Family Hummingbird Habitat—two unique spaces where guests can become immersed in learning about the interconnectedness between wildlife and people, and ways to help conserve species.

“Building a world where all life thrives isn’t just a motto for us, it’s the central driving force behind all the work we do to protect wildlife—here at home and through our work across six continents,” said Paul Baribault, president and CEO of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “Our team worked diligently to bring these two innovative habitats to life, and through them, we now have the opportunity further our mission by uniting our guests with these amazing species.”

Komodo Kingdom offers guests the opportunity to explore various environments from Komodo Island in Indonesia, including beach, woodland and mountain highland areas. This remarkable new experience includes pools, misters, hot rocks and heated caves—all specially designed to recreate the dragons’ native region. As guests step into Komodo Kingdom, they will be greeted by the Zoo’s two Komodo dragons, 9-year-old female, Ratu and 17-year-old, male, Satu, and have the chance to visit with both of them up close. Visitors will also learn about the species, the challenges they face and the work San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance is doing to help save them—and hundreds of others like them—including the delicate ecosystems they call home.

“High rates of deforestation, major biodiversity loss, unsustainable agriculture, illegal logging, wildlife trafficking, and an increase of potential for transmission of zoonotic diseases are just a few of the dangers Komodo dragons and other wildlife living in the Asian rainforest region face daily,” said Nadine Lamberski, chief conservation and wildlife health officer for San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “It’s vital we preserve ecosystems such as Asian rainforests, and these habitats not only help us to educate the public, they also assist in recruiting allies who will join us in saving unique environments, and maintaining a balanced relationship between human and wildlife that is critically important for a healthy planet.”

Across the path from Komodo Kingdom is the new infinity-loop-shaped Hummingbird Habitat, a rare immersive walk-through experience that offers endless flight opportunities to several species of hummingbirds, as well as other distinctive birds and plants native to North and South America. The habitat includes novel educational opportunities for guests to connect with these tiny, colorful-feathered and important pollinators, heightening San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s ability to convey the plight of each species and share information about what steps people can take to help conserve wildlife in their own backyards. The Hummingbird Habitat features cascading water, orchids, anthuriums, palms and other rare plants reflecting the diversity and beauty of the birds’ native regions—as well as an open-water pool that guests can view from an observation bridge along the pathway.

As guests step into Komodo Kingdom, they can see the Zoo’s two Komodo dragons, 9-year-old female, Ratu and 17-year-old, male, Satu. Pictured is Ratu. Photo by Jamie Wells.

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