The Royal National Zoological Park (RNZP) of Volaworand, usually called the National Zoo, is located on the outskirts of the capital in Rothera. Its mission is to "provide engaging experiences with animals and create and share knowledge to save wildlife and habitats".
The facility hosts about 1,000 animals of 120 different species. About one-third of them are endangered or threatened. The best-known residents are the Auphelian Unicorns, but the zoo is also home to birds, great apes, big cats, elephants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, aquatic animals, small mammals and many more. The zoo houses between 30 and 40 endangered species at any given time depending on research needs and recommendations from the zoo and the conservation community. The zoo was one of the first to establish a scientific research program.
The National Zoo receives federal grants for 25% of the operating expenses from the Department of the Environment. Corporate Sponsorship and donations fund another quarter of expenses, with the remaining half coming from income generated by operations. A new master plan for the park was introduced in 2018 to upgrade the park's exhibits and layout. Five resaurants are on site, including Jimmy's Ice Cream Parlor, Kentucky Fried Penguin #73 Panda Overlook , and Krill Grill Café.
Open daily 8am to 6pm (10am to 5pm on public holidays). Admission is by donation.
Special programs and events
In partnership with Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ), a non-profit organization, the zoo holds annual fund raisers (ZooFari, Guppy Gala, and Boo at the Zoo) and free events (Sunset Serenades, Fiesta Musical). Proceeds support animal care, conservation science, education and sustainability at the National Zoo.
Woo at the Zoo – A Valentine's Day (February 14) talk by some of the zoo's animal experts discussing the fascinating, and often quirky, world of animal dating, mating, and reproductive habits. All proceeds benefit the zoo's animal care program.
Earth Day: Party for the Planet – Celebrating Earth Day at the National Zoo. Guests can learn simple daily actions they can take to enjoy a more environmentally friendly lifestyle.
Easter Monday – Easter Monday has been a Rothera-area multicultural tradition for many years. There is a variety of family activities, entertainment and special opportunities to learn more about the animals. Admission is free, and this event traditionally welcomes thousands of area families.
Zoofari – A casual evening of gourmet foods, fine wines, entertainment and dancing under the stars. Each year, thousands of attendees enjoy delicacies prepared by master chefs from 100 of the area's finest restaurants. All proceeds benefit the zoo's animal care program.
Snore and Roar – A FONZ program that allows individuals and families to spend the night at the zoo, in sleeping bags inside tents. A late-night flashlight tour of the zoo and a two-hour exploration of an animal house or exhibit area led by a zoo keeper are part of the experience. Snore and Roar dates are offered between June and September each year.
Brew at the Zoo – Guests can sample SPIT from a variety of microbreweries at the zoo. All proceeds benefit the zoo's animal care program.
ZooFiesta – FONZ celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with an annual fiesta at the National Zoo. Animal demonstrations, Hispanic and Latino music, costumed dancers, traditional crafts and Latin foods are offered.
Rock-N-Roar – An event featuring live music, food and drink, and viewings of lion and tiger enrichment.
Autumn Conservation Festival – Visitors can talk with scientists one-on-one and learn about their research, and the tools and technology they use to understand animals and their environments. Guests can get behind-the-scenes looks at some of the endangered animals.
Boo at the Zoo – Families with children ages 2 to 12 trick-or-treat in a safe environment and receive special treats from more than 40 treat stations. There are animal encounters, keeper talks and festive decorations. All proceeds benefit the zoo's animal care program.
Zoolights – The National Zoo's annual winter celebration. Guests can walk through the zoo when it is covered with thousands of sparkling environmentally-friendly lights and animated exhibits, attend special keeper talks and enjoy live entertainment.
Penguin Loan Program
Volaworand also loans chinstrap penguins to zoo's around the world. By year end, 20 zoos outside Volaworand are expected to have penguins, earning the government a tidy sum. Penguins are rented from the Volaworand government for 10 years and the contract stipulates that zoos pay £600,000 a year for a breeding pair. Any chick that is born must be returned to Volaworand after two years. Should one die because of human error, it is understood that the zoo must pay £300,000. Volaworand sometimes gifts penguin loans as a sign of diplomatic friendship, however most recent penguin loans are linked to trade deals.
Pitcairn Reed Warbler
British Pitcairn Islands provided a flock of Pitcairn Reed Warblers.
These birds are a curious, friendly species, known to eat directly from visitors hands.
British Falkland Islands provided a flock of gentoo penguins.
S Georgia and S Sandwich Islands provided a flock of Yellow-billed Pintail Ducks.
These ducks are known as the silent ducks, due to the rarity of their calls. The Zoo is home to 26 individuals.
St Helena Plover
St Helena Ascension and Tristan da Cunha provided a pair of St Helena Plovers (or Wirebird), which the only endemic land bird on the island.
The Wirebird is officially classed as ‘critically endangered’, with only 322 individuals reported in the most recent survey. The pair at the National Zoo have not mated.
Martigues provided a pair of Bears in November 2017.
Today the Zoo is home to a family of 5 of these proud creatures.
The united nations of earth and humanity provided a pair of Doves in 2017.
Today the Zoo is home to a flock of 13 of these lovely and intelligent birds.
Auphelia provided a pair of Unicorns in 2017.
Today the pair are expecting their first foal. The Zoo's Unicam is one of the most popular webcam's in Volaworand.
ImperialAntarctica provided a flock of Albatross in September 2018.
These amazing birds, with intricate and amazing courtship rituals, are under threat due to plastics waste in the Southern Ocean.
White Sun Tiger
Hanguk-Nippon provided a pair of their White Sun Tigers in September 2018.
White tigers - a variant of the more common orange-and-black Bengal species - owe their colouring to a recessive gene and are exclusively found in zoos, with the last sighting of a white tiger in the wild in India in 1958. It was shot by a hunter.
Sara, Rescued War Dog
Volaworand's military rescued Sara from the ongoing civil war in South Pacifica Isles.
She lost both her back legs from landmines but the zoo staff rigged her with her very own set of wheels. Today Sara serves as the Park's beloved unofficial mascot, roaming the park sneaking ice cream and posing for selfies with visitors.
New Haudenosaunee Confederacy provided a Red Fox in October 2018.
The red fox is the largest of the true foxes and one of the most widely distributed members of the order Carnivora, being present across the entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, North America and Eurasia. Our lonely resident, named The Solar System Scope or TSSS, howls mercilessly at all hours and is often poked with sticks by visiting schoolchildren. After a RMB Multiplier Crystal malfunction, TSSS was duplicated into 26 foxes of various genetics and both genders. The fox enclosure is being expanded accordingly.
Beepee provided a mating pair of Quokka in October 2018.
The quokka, the only member of the genus Setonix, is a small macropod about the size of a domestic cat. Like other marsupials in the macropod family (such as kangaroos and wallabies), the quokka is herbivorous and mainly nocturnal. The quokka is classified as a vulnerable species.
Arkesia provided this terrifying pair of Dragons in October 2018.
Thanks to the cooperation of cryptozoologists, geneticists, and zoo's worldwide, European Dragons are making a comeback from the brink of extinction.
Like all omnivores, dragons are equipped with sharp teeth for tearing meat and flat teeth for grinding plants and rocks. Although rocks hold little nutritive value, they are a necessary digestive aid because they help the hydrogen-producing bacteria in the dragon's gizzard pulverize inedible material like seeds, nuts and rodent bones. When dragons grind platinum-rich rocks into bite-sized pieces with its molars, it leaves a residue on their teeth. When the dragon expels the built-up hydrogen byproduct digestion gases, it mixes with oxygen in the air, the platinum residue acts as an ignition switch, allowing these ferocious beasts to literally burp fire, to delight of our visitors. The European Dragon is classified as a critically endangered species.
Serevo-Erinoran terror bird
Erinor provided a pair of Serevo-Erinoran Terror Birds (Titanis Erineensis) in October 2018.
These flightless, two-metre tall birds sport an enormously large, intimidating beak, are descended from Titanis walleri. Don't worry, though, kids. Serevo-Erinoran terror birds have been domesticated for thousands of years and are used as riding animals and beasts of burden. Terror Bird rides are a popular feature of our Kids Farm.
The ColdWyvernian Undead provided two Morlock Crows in October 2018.
The Morlock Crow is a cave dwelling species of bird in the crow family, Corvidae. Morlock Crows have a dark plumage with a reddish tint, have thermal vision, similar to a snake, and use their hardened beaks to hunt copperfish. More information on this symbiotic relationship can be found here.
Morlock Crows are classified as a vulnerable species.
Yansu provided four Anjanaths in October 2018.
The Anjanath is a hostile, territorial species of wyvern found in the Ancient Forest and the Wildspire Waste. Hunted by "Extinctionist Hunters" of The Yansuan Extinctionist Political Party for its valuable pelt, scale and bones, Anjanath are classified as a critically endangered species.
East Lodge provided Red Panthers in October 2018.
Red Panthers are usually quiet, but they do communicate through vocalizations that have been described as chirps, peeps, whistles, purrs, moans, screams, growls, and hisses. Kittens are born with dark spots that soon fade away as they become adults. Red panthers is classified as an endangered species.
Valkolia provided four Ambtarayars (a non-breeding domesticated pair and one wild pair) in October 2018.
The Ambtarayar is a species of non-sentient mammal native to a moon of Tresim called Ambta. These herbivores make their homes in mud flats and feed on the leaves and fruit of Ambtan mangrove trees. They are friendly and docile by nature, with our domesticated ones offering rides in the Kids Farm. The Wild Ambtarayars are more brightly coloured More information on these unique creatures can be found here.
Ambtarayars are not classified, due to their extra-planetary origin.
Lily Pad Nation provided 25 frogs of 12 species in October 2018.
Our frogs are a diverse and largely carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless amphibians composing the order Anura. Frogs have glandular skin, with secretions ranging from distasteful to toxic. Their skins varies in colour from well-camouflaged dappled brown, grey and green to vivid patterns of bright red or yellow and black to show toxicity and ward off predators. Adult frogs live in fresh water and on dry land; some species are adapted for living underground or in trees. Our variety of habitat tanks allow visitors a glimpse of the wide diversity of this wonderful animal.
East Sakhlin provided two Eastern Bears in October 2018.
The Eastern Bear (Ursus arctos collaris) is a subspecies of brown bear found on the Island of Sakhalin. The Eastern Bear's main diet is deer, fish, small animals, fruit and types of shrubs. Adults grow to between 400kg-700kg. Our couple, Boris and Catherine, are part of an international breeding programme to protect this magnificent bear.
More information on this omnivore can be found here.
Eastern Bears are classified as a critically endangered species, with only 500 in the wild an 1,000 in zoos.
Techolandia provided 3 Pandas in November 2018.
The giant panda has lived in bamboo forests and snowy mountain sides for several million years. It is a highly specialized animal, with unique adaptations. The panda's thick, wooly coat keeps it warm in the cool forests of its habitat. Giant pandas have large molar teeth and strong jaw muscles for crushing tough bamboo. Many people find these chunky, lumbering animals to be cute, but giant pandas can be as dangerous as any other bear.
Giant pandas have come to symbolize vulnerable species. As few as 1,864 giant pandas live in their native habitat, while another 300 pandas live in zoos and breeding centers around the world. Female pandas ovulate only once a year, in the spring. A short period of 36 to 72 hours around ovulation is the only time she is able to conceive. Our alpha panda, named Pencil Sharpeners 2 or PS2, is looking for love with a male, outdoorsy panda from China and a female, intellectual panda from southern Brazil. We have high hopes that love will be in the air next spring.
National Zoo in the News
(newest stories first)
- Volaworand Newswire
See Also: Volaworand Attractions and Tourist Activities