Leaping lemurs! Cave-dwelling crocs! Towering baobobs and octopus trees! Madagascar! at the Bronx Zoo features the enchanting wildlife and bizarre landscapes of the world’s fourth largest island. Considered by some to represent the “eighth continent,” Madagascar separated from continental Africa more than 100 million years ago and evolved into a place unlike anywhere else.
Along the exhibit’s trail, you’ll wend your way through a dry forest, a desert, an underwater cave, and a rainforest to discover animals found only in Madagascar. In addition to five types of lemurs, spy on hissing cockroaches, radiated tortoises, tomato frogs, leaf-tailed geckos, and the predatory fossa, which looks like a mini-puma.
Madagascar! is housed in the historic Lion House on Astor Court, at the heart of the zoo. Outside, the Beaux-Arts building with its ornate columns and lion carvings looks just as it did when it opened in 1903. But on the inside, after a massive renovation,the building has been completely transformed. Now, with innovative “green” features such as fixtures in the sinks that help water the exhibit’s plants and doubly insulated skylights that keep heat from escaping, the building meets the highest standards for energy efficiency and environmental design. It will be New York City’s first landmark building to receive the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Evnironmental Design) Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating by the U.S. Green Building Council.
Each animal and environment in the exhibit depicts the efforts of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to preserve Madagascar’s natural treasures. You’ll learn about the conservation work of our scientists on the island, including the role WCS played in helping to create its national parks. Watch the movie "Small Wonders, Big Threats" and peek into a viewscope to see snakes in hiding, follow tortoise tracks, and find out who raided an iguana’s nest. By the end of your journey through Madagascar!, you’ll have a new understanding of the pressures that face the wildlife of this unique island nation and how we can safeguard these species for the future.