The Emperor Valley Zoo is the biggest zoo in Trinidad & Tobago and first opened on 8 November 1952 by Governor Sir Hubert Rance. It is located North of the Queen’s Park Savannah and West of the Royal Botanic Gardens (I will write about them on Sunday) in Port of Spain. The Emperor Vally Zoo was named after the large, blue Emperor (or Morpho) butterflys which once frequented the valley in which the zoo is situated.
When it opened there were 10 cages containing 127 animals of mainly indigenous species, but now the zoo has grown to house a collection of over 2300 individuals. There are both local and foreign animals including lions, ocelots, parrots, macaws, snakes, caiman, giraffes, and tigers. Oh My.
The Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago, with financial assistance from the government, have spent around $10 million to upgrade the existing infrastructure and to add more like the new giraffe enclosure and the addition of a tiger exhibit which received three tigers including two white Bengal’s that successfully bred and gave birth to two cubs in January 2015.
In 2016 the zoo received six llamas from a nature park in Texas, USA, which I got to visit at feeding time. There was one spotted llama that was kind of ugly. While the two ladies were feeding all of them, I said “that is a face only a mother could love”. One of the ladies hugged the poor llama as said “its ok, you are beautiful” just like a mom would. 😊