Discover Ecuadorian Wildlife at Guayllabamba Zoo
Situated in the town of Guayllabamba approximately 29 kilometers north of Quito, the 12 hectares of the Guayllabamba Zoo are home to more than 50 species of native fauna, representing all the diverse regions of Ecuador. This is the largest collection of native fauna in Ecuador that is open to the public, and approximately 17,000 people visit the zoo each month.
Under the authority of the Zoological Foundation of Ecuador since March 1999, research projects and education programs at the Guayllabamba Zoo focus on the conservation of endangered species and actively promote public awareness of the necessity for conservation measures. In line with this goal, the zoo receives around 800 educational institutions each year to engage in interactive learning experiences based on promoting the value of Ecuadorian wildlife as well as world-wide conservation issues. The zoo also has a veterinary area dedicated to the wellbeing of all the animals, mainly through preventative medication and measures, as well as for treating sick animals.
Many of the animals at Guayllabamba Zoo were transferred from the old Military School zoo, while others have been rescued from illegal fur traders. Mammals housed in well vegetated, well designed enclosures at the zoo include jaguar, moor wolf, Andean Spectacled Bear, ocelots, sloths, monkeys, squirrels, hedgehogs, pigs and pumas, with the only exotic mammals being four African lions.
Bird species, in enclosures closely resembling their natural habitat, include macaws, eagles, toucans, parrots, and the largest flying land bird in the Western Hemisphere, as well as the national symbol of Ecuador – the Andean condor. This large black vulture with its distinctive white feathered ruff can live for 50 years or more under ideal conditions. However, it is becoming a threatened species mainly due to eating carrion which has been poisoned by man. Captive breeding programs are attempting to remedy this situation.
The highlight of the many reptiles at Guayllabamba Zoo is the Galapagos Tortoise, which is unique in its size and longevity. The Galapagos Tortoise can grow to a length of 1,2 meters and weigh over 300 kilograms with an estimated average life expectancy of 150 to 200 years.
The Guayllabamba Zoo offers guided tours, educational activities, holiday programs for children, a handicrafts store, a cafeteria and children’s play zone. The Guayllabamba Zoo in Ecuador provides a fun and educational outing for every member of the family and is well worth a visit.