The Ararat Ridge Zoo at the Ark Encounter has a new friend—Silas, the laughing kookaburra!
The kookaburra is native to Australia. It’s a carnivorous bird and is the largest species in the kingfisher-created kind. The kookaburra is named for its distinctive call, used for marking territory, attracting mates, establishing hierarchies, or reinforcing familial bonds. Zoo staff named him as a reference to Silas (and Paul) singing hymns to God while imprisoned in Acts 16:25.
Fathers will sing portions of their songs for chicks to mimic. Singing lessons take about two weeks before chicks can join any full chorus songs. Neighboring groups will synchronize their choruses without any overlaps.
These calls are possible because our Creator designed them with unique syrinxes (the vocal organ of birds) that have two sources of vibrations so that they can make two simultaneous frequencies with multiple harmonics.
Laughing kookaburras are carnivores with a varied diet, including venomous snakes, which the birds kill by slamming or dropping them from great heights. They wait in trees and watch for prey before pouncing. Although native to the eastern mainland of Australia, they have been introduced to western Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and other surrounding islands because of their reputation for killing snakes and helping reduce pests.
As long as it's over 40 degrees, you can see Silas on exhibit in the Monument Walk. Start planning your visit to the Ark Encounter today, and make sure you keep an eye out for Silas as you head towards our life-size Noah’s Ark.
If you enjoy our zoo animals at the Ark Encounter, be sure to like, follow, and share our new Ararat Ridge Zoo Facebook page! You’ll stay up-to-date with all the zoo’s activities, learn awesome animal facts, and enjoy adorable animal photos. You’ll also get lots of fun facts about our animals in particular, and, of course, all the content will be consistent with a biblical worldview instead of the usual evolutionary terminology you see at most zoos.
Check out our new zoo page today.