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Zoo Happenings

New Exhibits

Asia - Trail of the Tiger Now Open! Asia - Trail of the Tiger Logo

Thank you to everyone who made the Asia – Trail of the Tiger opening weekend such a success. More than 8,000 came out to see the Asia exhibits and some of our newest animal residents.

The dynamic exhibit features wildlife from throughout the Asian continent, nearly doubling the number of large animals we have for visitors to see. Among the new residents are carnivores, including Malayan tigers and Asian small-clawed otters; primates, including orangutans, siamangs and white-cheeked gibbons — exceptionally vocal primates; forest dwelling creatures, including Malayan tapirs (they’re related to horses, but don’t look like them) and binturongs (bear cats); and a colorful collection of birds, including extravagantly beaked rhino hornbills, brilliant fairy bluebirds, azure-winged magpies, chestnut-breasted malkohas and many more species that live in niches reaching from the ground to the forest’s upper canopy.

A series of 12 thatch-roofed pagodas — the highest is nine stories tall — set the stage for your journey through Asia along the Trail of the Tiger. Along the way, you'll get “up close and personal” with wildlife from an array of unique viewing environments. The raised boardwalk over the “Asian forest” allows you to observe the scene below. A one-of-a-kind viewing cave offers a dramatic look into the tiger and orangutan exhibits. There’s even a special area where you can watch tigers and otters swimming from an underwater perspective.Asia - Trail of the Tiger Artist's Rendering

A Dynamic Attraction with Everyday Appeal...

Asia - Trail of the Tiger is an example of our new master plan to give visitors an “up-close-and-personal” look at our wildlife, transforming the Virginia Zoo into one of the most dynamic zoos in the country. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Virginia Zoo.

A Unique Partnership...

The City of Norfolk and the Virginia Zoological Society share responsibility for the Virginia Zoo. The Zoological Society provides key support components in educational programming, membership development, marketing, fundraising and special events. The City serves the operational needs of the Zoo, employing the Zoo staff responsible for animal care, Zoo grounds and maintenance, and customer service. The success of this partnership is the key to our future and a fitting tribute to our history.

A Rich History Since 1900 (or 1901, depending on who you ask)...

Lafayette Park began its acquisition of animals in 1900, but did not officially become the Lafayette Zoological Park until 1901 when deemed a city park by the City of Norfolk.

Today, the Virginia Zoo spans 53 acres adjacent to Lafayette Park and is bordered by the Lafayette River. Zoo “residents” from around the world include more than 350 animals representing 115 different species. The Lafayette Zoological Park was accredited in 1974 and continues to adhere to the high standards set by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. In 1985, the park became the Virginia Zoological Park and is now called the Virginia Zoo.





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