When you visit the Ark Encounter, make sure to stop by the Ararat Ridge Zoo, which is located just behind the Ark. Our zoo is home to 49 animals, including zebras, kangaroos, yaks, emus, camels, goats, llamas, alpacas, and more. Here are some fun facts you might not know about just a few of our animals.
These flightless birds from Australia are the only birds with calf muscles, which help them to be able to run up to 35 miles per hour. But did you know emus are also curious creatures that love playing in water? On hot days, our zookeepers sometimes turn on sprinklers for our four emus to run through or put out a swimming pool for them to enjoy.
Whenever something new is going on in the zoo, our emus have to check it out. New goats were recently added to the petting zoo area, and the emus kept a close eye on the goats as they moved in. If construction is going on nearby, they can usually be seen huddled by the fence watching the workers.
As you visit the Ararat Ridge Zoo, keep your ears open for the emus’ bellowing call, which can be heard over a mile away.
Did you know that kangaroos use an interesting method to cool off? When they get hot, they lick their arms to beat the summer heat. A vein lies there so when they lick their arm, it cools off their entire blood stream. And one other way our four kangaroos cool down is by playing in the swimming pool that our zookeepers put out for them to enjoy.
Male red kangaroos can stand up to six feet tall when they are grown, and they can jump over six feet high. Due to their impressive jumping ability, our kangaroos have a higher fence than other animals in the Ararat Ridge Zoo.
Like many of the animals at our sister attraction, the Creation Museum, one of their favorite snacks is cheese crackers. Since the wallabies at the museum enjoy eating cheese crackers, our zookeepers decided to let the kangaroos try this tasty snack and found they liked them as well.
We have four dromedary camels at the Ark Encounter. Did you know camels have callouses on their legs and a pedestal on their chest which are designed to protect them from the hot desert sand? When they lay down, only the callouses and pedestal touch the sand.
Camels have long eyelashes and ear hair for protection during sandstorms, and they also have the ability to close their nostrils to keep the sand out. They have special pads on the bottom of their feet that allow them to walk on top of the sand without sinking down.
During your visit, don’t miss the unique opportunity to take a ride on one of our camels and learn more about them.
Be sure to keep up with our blog to find out more interesting and fun facts about our animals in the future. Let us know which animal was your favorite during your visit, and share your photos with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using #arkencounter!