Amazing Animal Life at Banos Zoo
Known as the “Gateway to the Amazon”, the city of Banos in the Tungurahua Province of central Ecuador is a prime tourist destination. In addition to the active Tungurahua Volcano, there are a number of places of interest to explore in and around this interesting Ecuadorian city. The Banos Zoo, situated about a mile from the center of the city, is well worth a visit.
The Banos Zoo houses a number of species of animals which are found in the diverse terrain of the Orient and Sierra regions of Ecuador. The zoo is located at the base of the Tungurahua Volcano and some of the main enclosures have been built on the volcano’s slopes, using the ridges and contours to create habitats as close to the enclosed animal’s natural surroundings as possible. The animals housed at the Banos Zoo include jaguars, spectacled bears, pumas, giant turtles, capybaras, tapirs, different monkey species, parrots, condors and toucans.
The zoo’s primary mission is to conserve and rehabilitate animals, releasing them back into their wild habitats wherever possible. For more than thirteen years, Banos Zoo has provided care for sick and injured wildlife, as well as providing shelter for endangered species which have been rescued from international animal traders.
Future plans for Banos Zoo include the development of the zoo to serve as a Biodiversity Center for central Ecuador. The center will include a conference center, complete with residence hostel and meeting rooms, as well as a biodiversity library and an animal clinic for the benefit of the local community and the zoo. The Banos Zoo provides clear lessons, for both Ecuadorians and visiting tourists, with regard to the value of biodiversity and the need for increased conservation efforts of the animals as well as their natural habitats. Ongoing efforts are being made to reshape attitudes about hunting, ecology, deforestation and man’s role as a custodian of natural resources.
There are many reasons for adventurous travelers to visit the beautiful country of Ecuador. If you are in the area of Banos, be sure to visit the Banos Zoo to get an up-close look at some of Ecuador’s amazing animals.