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That’s cold-blooded: Fort Worth Zoo reopens Mountains and Desert

The reopened Mountains and Desert exhibit is part of Texas Wild! and contains the youth-focused Texas Nature Traders program.


The 7,200-sqft facility houses more than 30 ectotherm (cold-blooded) species in specialized, state-of-the-art habitats designed for each animal.

Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Zoo

Last week, the Fort Worth Zoo reopened the Mountains and Desert exhibit, crawling, slithering, and hopping with reptiles and amphibians.

Cold-blooded species — known as ectotherm — are often “indicator species,” meaning if their population declines, it indicates an ecosystem imbalance. The walls of the new facility have floor-to-ceiling infographics and short videos about ways for visitors to participate in conservation.

In addition to the animals, half of Mountains and Desert is now Texas Nature Traders. In this is a one-of-a-kind program for ages 3+, kids find fossils, rocks, plants, and other goodies around the zoo, then bring them here to learn more. Junior explores can trade their finds in or redeem them for other objects.

The fully air-conditioned building is open daily one hour after the zoo opens until one hour before closing.

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