Zoo Atlanta never stops improving and that is remarkable for a facility which has been delighting Atlantans and tourists for over 125 years. The newest attraction is the stunningly beautiful, multi-million dollar “Scaly, Slimy Spectacular.” This shiny new building and exhibit space houses the zoo’s collection of reptiles and amphibians.
Admission to this new “pavilion” is part of the total zoo experience, so after reveling in the cuteness of the baby pandas, playful lemurs and elegant giraffes or pink flamingoes, the cool air-conditioned reptile/amphibian house is a perfect way to wind up any visit. Outside are the giant tortoises and a towering atrium welcomes visitors on the inside with its waterfall flowing into a pool of American alligators.
After that, there is a wide, meandering walk through the exhibits and aquariums filled with geckos, lizards, toads, iguanas, monitors, frogs and, of course, snakes. Safely behind glass, the predatory and huge anacondas, pythons, co-bras, rattlers and vipers are all fascinating. The bright emerald green tree boa must be the most colorful snake of all but the infamous black mamba has its own special allure.
Thankfully, there are cuter and more playful residents as well. The iguana seemed to be begging for attention through its glass wall and the snake-neck turtle performed frenetic arabesques as it gyrated wildly through its blue-green aquarium.
Zoo Atlanta is located in Grant Park with plenty of other attractions, education programs, gift shops and din-ing/snack venues. Admission ranges from $17.99 to $22.99. For more information about hours and memberships, call 404-624-5662 or see www.zooatlanta.org.