Animals and Attractions
Williams Family Giraffe Encounter
Now you can feed the tallest animal in the world at the Williams Family Giraffe Encounter. A new experience for our zoo guests, the opportunity to feed a giraffe (or at least say hello at eye-level) is now open. Beginning at 10:30 a.m. each day, guests can opt to feed the giraffe a tempting treat. Giraffe snacks are available for purchase for $5 and are available as long as that day's allotment of food is available.
Schedules are subject to change as the giraffe will dictate any modifications to the feeding and viewing schedule as we acclimate the giraffe to interacting with guests. Knoxville Zoo is home to three giraffe; male Jumbe, (prounounced JOOM-bay), and females Patches and Lucille.
New Komodo Dragon Now Exhibit in Wee Play Zoo
Knoxville Zoo has a new Komodo dragon and what he may be lacking in size, he makes up for in attitude! This feisty little male dragon now on exhibit in Wee Play Zoo, doesn't hesitate to show his ferocity with a dramatic display of tiny razor-sharp teeth. This young dragon, named "Drogo", was hatched at Memphis Zoo last January. In June, he weighed just 8 ounces and measured approximately 18 inches long, but he will definitely grow to match his big attitude. When fully grown, Drogo could tip the scales at 150 pounds and measure 8 feet in length.
Komodo dragons are the largest lizards in the world, and are well-known for their ability to take down large prey such as deer and pigs due to the virulent strains of bacteria in their saliva, which infects their prey when bitten. These strains of bacteria are more than likely the result of feeding regularly on carrion in their native habitats, and Komodo dragons who reside in zoos do not have this characteristic. Research has also suggested that they possess a very primitive venom delivery system.
Komodo dragons are vulnerable in their native range, with only an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 individuals remaining on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Gili Dasmi in the Indonesian archipelago in Southeast Asia.
The Clayton Family Kids Cove Has Gone Troppo!
Budgie Landing is Now Open!
Gone Troppo you say? It means “gone wild” in Aussie and we’re celebrating a wild new experience in Kids Cove this season. It’s fun on a stick with budgies at Budgie Landing! These brightly colored Australian birds are new to Knoxville Zoo and are on exhibit now in the Kids Cove Aviary.
So grab your anklebiters and get your wriggle on and come visit Budgie Landing mates! Click here for more information.
Bloomin' Butterfly Gardens is Back!
Knoxville Zoo’s popular Bloomin’ Butterfly Gardens, a beautifully landscaped butterfly habitat featuring approximately 800 native butterflies, including Malachite, Monarch, Variegated Fritillaries, Gulf Fritillaries, a variety of Swallowtails, Zebra Longwings, Julia Longwings, Great Southern White, Cloudless Sulfers and Buckeyes is now open!
With so many “flying flowers”, Bloomin’ Butterfly Gardens is awash with color. Zoo visitors can watch these friendly residents as they sip nectar, perch in sunny locations and perhaps even hitch a ride on passing guests. The garden also features a pupae room that allows visitors to watch as clumsy caterpillars metamorphose into beautiful butterflies, and maybe even catch a glimpse of a brand-new butterfly emerging from their chrysalis. New this year is a sensory garden that invites visitors to smell, touch and see featured plants. Bloomin’ Butterfly Gardens is included with general zoo admission.
Once upon a time, there lived a little dragon....
Fire breathing, no. Magical yes! The first-ever Komodo dragon to call Knoxville Zoo home has made her public debut and has caused quite the komodotion!
Khaleesi, a 19-month-old Komodo dragon, recently relocated from Zoo Atlanta to Knoxville. Komodo dragons are the largest lizards in the world, and while she currently weighs in at around eight pounds and measures approximately four feet in length, she can easily grow to 80 pounds and 8 feet in length when she matures. Komodo dragons are well-known for their ability to take down large prey such as deer and pigs due to the virulent strains of bacteria in their saliva, which infects their prey when bitten. These strains of bacteria are more than likely the result of feeding regularly on carrion in their native habitats, and Komodo dragons who reside in zoos do not have this characteristic. Herpetologists have also recently begun to suspect that they possess a very primitive venom delivery system.
Komodo dragons are vulnerable in their native range, with only an estimated 4,000 to 5,000 individuals remaining on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Gili Dasmi in the Indonesian archipelago in Southeast Asia.
Come visit with Khaleesi soon and watch our Komodo grow!
Wee Play Zoo
A Zoo Play Adventure for Your Wild Child!
Wee Play Zoo is a fun interactive exhibit, designed with toddler, pre-school and elementary school-aged visitors in mind. Wee Play Zoo lets kids dress up and try their hand at different roles throughout the "zoo", whether it's selling tickets in the ticket booth, working in the Pizzooria concession Wee Play vetstand, or preparing special diets for the animals in the commissary. Little animal enthusiasts can be veterinarians or become an animal researcher and take part in conservation projects. Of course, the zoo always needs zookeepers! Pint -sized keepers can scoop poop, stack hay, and meet animals that live at the zoo. Parents can rest assured that Wee Play Zoo does not use real poop or actual food.
NEW at Wee Play Zoo!
Some new additions to Wee Play Zoo include an updated maintenance area where little ones can fix the safari jeep, a story time area, a puppet show and stage, and for our littlest friends, an infant crawl area. Wee Play Zoo also has activities offerered throughout the day. Stay tuned, new updates are coming soon!
Wee Play Zoo is located in the Pilot Special Exhibit Building, and is open daily during regular zoo hours. Come let your imagination run wild!