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New Neotropica realm featuring endangered jaguars debuts at the San Antonio Zoo on Friday 

click to enlarge Neotropica includes an overhead walk that allows the zoo's jaguars to move between two different habitats. - COURTESY OF SAN ANTONIO ZOO
  • Courtesy of San Antonio Zoo
  • Neotropica includes an overhead walk that allows the zoo's jaguars to move between two different habitats.
The San Antonio Zoo will hold a grand opening Friday for Neotropica, a new realm that's home to species including endangered jaguars, monkeys and birds from the Amazon.

With a theme focused on the Neotropical regions of the Americas, the area's design seeks to replicate a remote South American fishing village. In addition to its jaguars, monkeys and birds, it will house reptiles, fish and other mammals.

A central feature of Neotropica is the Pantera Walk, a catwalk for the zoo's jaguars to roam between two habitats, moving above zoo visitors and through the Amazonian Aviary. The walk's elevated trail system is unique in that it allows the jaguars to traverse through the habitats of other species.

The zoo will debut Neotropica to the public at 9 a.m.

"Neotropica is a natural fit for the zoo and speaks to our greater conservation efforts in those parts of the world," said Zoo President and CEO Tim Morrow said in a press release from August.

"Through a conservation effort known as Project Selva, San Antonio Zoo works with the Bora and other indigenous people living in the upper Amazon Basin of Peru to help protect rain forests. Just hours south of the Texas border, in Mexico, we study and work to conserve jaguars as part of the Wild Cats of Tamaulipas effort. We are grateful to our donors and incredibly excited to bring this brand new realm to our zoo guests and bring this part of the world to San Antonio," Morrow added.

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