The team from the National Zoo
in Washington, D.C.
has traveled clear across the country and back with the re-opening of the new American Trail exhibit. This exciting attraction recreates the wilderness of America's west coast and brings together a veritable menagerie of iconic American animals from around the country.
The centerpiece of the exhibit may very well be the 300,000-gallon pool where staff have recreated the California seashore. A wave machine mimics the movement of water in the natural environment. Inhabiting the enormous tank – a family of sea lions, of course.
Other animals featured in the exhibit include bald eagles, wolves, beavers, brown pelicans, harbor seals and everyone's favorite, playful river otters. In fact, the seals have their own 125,000-gallon pool and the beavers get their own watering hole too.
Some of the wild and wooly creatures who live in the American Trail exhibit are species that have faced threats to their population. Many currently are (or once were) endangered, and they represent success stories in the efforts to preserve and protect threatened species.
Don't miss the tidal pool feature, home to starfish, sea urchins and barnacles. Kids can even dip their toes in the pool and get up close with these denizens of the deep (or not so deep).
The American Trail exhibit recently underwent an extreme makeover, lasting five years and costing some $42 million. It will undoubtedly entertain and educate zoo visitors for years to come.