The Los Angeles Zoo introduced its newest exhibit to its guests on March 8. Encompassing six diversely themed exhibits, The LAIR (Living Amphibian, Invertebrates, and Reptiles) houses more than 60 species from around the globe. Additionally, this new structure will provide a vital establishment for the Zoo’s reptile- and amphibian-focused conservation initiatives.
The six exhibit areas in The LAIR include habitats for various unique and endangered amphibian, invertebrate and reptilian species. The world’s largest amphibian, the Chinese giant salamander, inhabits a “mountainside” stream with underwater viewing for visitors. Several species of tiny brightly colored poison-dart frogs live in lush vivariums. Lizards are represented by scaly and spiny giant horned lizards, neon green Fiji island banded iguanas and the only species of venomous lizards: gila monster and beaded lizard.
Adaptations to its aquatic existence will be easily noticed on the Fly River turtles that have a snout-like nose and flippers for feet. Visitors may view scorpions and centipedes or walk past “Crocodile Swamp,” which houses false gharials– an endangered species of crocodile found in Southeast Asia.
Finally, an array of snakes include: the Mang Shan viper from the mountains of China; the green mamba, a fast slender arboreal snake from Africa; and the Bushmaster, the largest venomous snake of the Americas. The “Care and Conservation Room” is dedicated to the reptiles and amphibians part of the zoo’s conservation programs. Here, zoo guests can also look “Behind the Glass,” where many behind-the-scenes activities (reptile egg storage, nursery, food prep, etc.) take place.