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The Nearctic zone has the brown color in the educational system. North American exhibits were created mostly between the years 2006 and 2008. They contain enclosures for the Canadian lynx, bobcat, a marmot enclosure with a beautiful totem and a cottage, stables and enclosures for the Tule elk, Dall and bighorn sheep and the pavilion Sonoran Desert. Plants of the North American prairies, deciduous forests in the East and coniferous forest of the West of the USA grow in the vicinity.
Eastern North America
Deciduous forests of eastern North America are quite rich in species. They are home to many plants, which are important to humanity in many ways. The educational path under the bobcat enclosure takes the visitors to see several of them. An attentive visitor can pick up on many interesting facts, for example what use was there for the paper birch, what material was used by the indigenous population to create spoons, or what products can be made out of the strong and elastic wood of the shagbark hickory.
These forests are home to the bobcat (Lynx rufus). They inhabit mountains and semi-deserts and like to hunt at night. Their pray mostly consists of small rodents, birds and hares. For comparison, the Canadian lynx (Lynx c. canadensis) lives in a nearby enclosure.
Western North America
Exhibits from western North America are located behind the farmstead and the horse and sheep enclosures. The vegetation around the exhibits underlines the impression of Western America. A very rare deer species, the Tule elk (Cervus canadensis nannodes), lives here. Out in the wild they inhabit grassy plains and wetlands of California. Even though it is the smallest elk subspecies in America, its antlers grow to considerable length.
Mountains are inhabited by the rare Dall sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) and bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis californiana). These white-colored ungulates meld perfectly with the snowy landscape and thus escape the eyes of their predators.
The Sonora exhibit presents life in one of the hottest and largest deserts of North America. The most poisonous creature of the exhibit is, without a doubt, the Gila monster (Heloderma suspectum). Their poison is a neurotoxin capable of inflicting unbearable pain. One can also find the Mojave rattlesnake here (Crotalus scutulatus) with typical ossified segments on the tip of its tail, and many more fascinating animals.
The Neotropical realm has the symbolic lush green color in the educational system. It was created as one of the first zones when in 1997, the maned wolves and llamas were joined by the new addition of capybaras and maras. A few neotropical species live, to this day, in the tropical pavilion and in its vicinity (penguin, Chilean flamingo). The plants of this region are quite sensitive, therefore our options for growing them locally are limited. The exhibit is accompanied by small greenhouses with Argentinian and Bolivian mountain cacti and South American fuchsias. The newer part of this area is the botanical exhibit Patagonia, created by the transformation of the muntjac enclosure in 2011. Common marmosets and other mammals (armadillos, coendous, night monkeys) have claimed for themselves the Amazonian pavilion in 2014, constructed thanks to aid from the EU.
South American Pampas
It is a vast grassy area. Pampas in the Pilsen Zoo are represented by an exhibit in the hills above the afro-asian pavilion. The rare, wild vicuñas (Vicugna vicugna) live here. With the arrival of the Spaniards, massive exploitation for their hide, meat and wool began in the pampas. Vicuñas almost went extinct. They were saved at the last moment by introducing several natural reserves and imposing a strict ban on hunting. Pampas are also home to the flightless birds greater rheas (Rhea americana), or almost flightless red-legged seriemas (Cariama cristata), which can hunt down even poisonous snakes. In the summer they inhabit an outdoor aviary next to the African pavilion while in the winter they’re moved to their wintering grounds. Pampas of the Pilsen Zoo are also home to the largest rodents in the world, capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris), despite of the fact that they don’t live in the pampas. They need tropical waters to survive. Predators are represented by the maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus). Even though they have noticeably long legs, their running abilities leave much to be desired. They are mainly used for better orientation in the tall grass.
The Amazonia exhibit was created in the hearth of the garden in 2014. It showcases the largest and most diverse ecosystem in the world.
Amazonia is a name for the geographic area of South America, including the Amazon River basin and its tributaries. A collection of marmosets found their new homes here. A natural walk-through aviary is next to the pavilion. The surrounding vegetation changes throughout the year, since there are various kinds of crops and decorative plants from America. It is a permanent home to some hardy fuchsias. Children can try some fishing here and catch one of the biggest fishes of the Amazon River. The communal hut is represented by the so called Churuata, which towers above the walk-through aviary. Its construction was assisted personally by Eda Cumandi nicknamed Denis, the chieftain of the Yekwana tribe of South American natives. The Czechs who contributed to this project also deserve to be mentioned, as they helped create a truly remarkable project.
The land of winds, fjords and glaciers is represented by the botanical exhibit next to the Moroccan aviary, neighboring the South American pampas maned wolf exhibit.
Patagonia is a vast area in South America, bordering the Andes in the northwest and the river Río Colorado to the north. Most of Patagonia lies in Argentina, the rest in Chile.
The Coastlands of Chile and Peru
A new netted walk-through aviary, erected in 2018, hosts the birds best adapted to life in water, the Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti). The surroundings represent life on the coasts of Chile and Peru. Penguins have been kept here since 1999 and breed regularly. They live together with other bird species.
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