Cape May County Zoo welcomes two newcomers
🔍 The Cape May County Zoo has two new residents
🔍 The newest arrivals come from Six Flags Great Adventure
🔍 They are on exhibit in the South American section of the zoo
CAPE MAY COURTHOUSE — The Cape May County Zoo has welcomed two new arrivals this summer.
Two female greater rheas joined the South American section of the zoo last week, making the trek from Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, according to an announcement on the zoo’s website.
What is a rhea?
Rheas are flightless birds and are smaller South American cousins to the ostrich. Often known as grey, common, or American rhea, they are the largest birds that are native to South America. They are found in Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
What do we need to know about these birds?
“The greater rheas are about a year old and stand about 4.5 feet and weigh about 40 pounds,” said Dr. Alexander Ernst, associate veterinarian at the Cape May County Zoo.
The female birds can be seen living with the capybaras, he added. The capybara, by the way, is the largest living rodent in the world.
The greater rhea species typically inhabit grassland areas, as well as savanna, scrub forest, and desert lands.
Their diet consists of broad-leaved foliage, seeds, and fruit when in season. They also consume insects, scorpions, fish, small rodents, reptiles, and even small birds.
“The continued growth of our zoo family is exciting for the staff and visitors and adds to the educational experience for people of all ages. I encourage everyone to make a trip to the zoo as often as possible to see how it changes and becomes better each time you go,” said Cape May County Commissioner Andrew Bulakowski, liaison to the Cape May County Parks and Zoo.
The Cape May County Parks and Zoo are open daily and free to the public. The parks are open from 7 a.m. to dusk, and the zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.