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ABQ BioPark Welcomes Two New Animals

A Tayra and a Fossa are the most recent additions to the ABQ BioPark Zoo.

June 24, 2015

Catch a glimpse of Madagascar and South America by visiting two new animals at the ABQ BioPark Zoo.

Mac is a 14-year old male fossa who comes to the ABQ BioPark from the Cincinnati Zoo. Fossas are physically unique carnivore mammals who are the top predator in their native Madagascar. They may appear cat-like, but actually are related to the mongoose. They have retractable claws and teeth similar to a cat, but their muzzle more closely resembles a dog. As represented in the "Madagascar" animated films, they are indeed very fierce and do consider lemurs as their primary prey. Fossa are classified as a vulnerable species, due to habitat destruction by humans.

"Mac is a very cool, confident animal. From the very first day, he ruled his domain," said Shelly Dicks, Zookeeper Supervisor. "Nessie is kind of the opposite, a bit nervous, very energetic, quite bouncy and rarely stops moving."

Nessie is a four-year old tayra. Related to otters and weasels, tayras are extremely playful, expert climbers and are very quick runners. They are very vocal animals and use sounds for communication within their groups. Even though they come from opposite sides of the world as the fossa, wild tayra populations are also shrinking due to habitat destruction.

Both the fossa and tayra are on display in the Carnivore section of the ABQ BioPark Zoo.