Waterfalls cascade into a lazy river. A mud path, embedded with animal footprints and leaves, hints at what's ahead. In the distance is the sound of a bird call, then a monkey chattering. Overhead, oropendola nests sway in the breeze. You're now entering the riverbanks of South America.
Andean Bear Range
The first animals you'll encounter at River's Edge are Andean bears, a little known, endangered species that live in the cloud forests of the Andean mountains of South America. Their common name, spectacled bear, comes from the distinctive white circles around their eyes that often resemble a pair of spectacles. These bears love to climb high in the trees to rest, eat and sun themselves during the day. On the ground, they have grass for digging and a heated den. Andean bears also enjoy water, so their new home features a waterfall with a stream that runs the entire length of their habitat. Peer through the large viewing windows to see the bears swimming underwater.
Bush Dogs, Capybaras and Anteaters
The bush dogs, capybaras and giant anteaters all share a fragile ecosystem of the Amazon backwater on which all are dependent for survival. Look for the bush dog in its den, hidden in a hollow tree trunk. Although little is known on this terrier-size mammal, a watchful eye might see it chase its prey into the nearby water.
Sharing a backyard to the bush dogs, are the capybaras and giant anteaters. Watch the largest rodent in the world, the capybara, show-off it's excellent swimming and diving abilities in a nearby waterhole. Be quiet, however…when it hears danger, it dives beneath the water and hides! Also living in the swampy area are some giant anteaters. Do you see them digging up ant hills or termite mounds for food. They use their long tongues to stick and slurp up to 30,000 insects and their eggs in a day!
Find out what's around the next bend in Africa Savanna.