Charles Paddock Zoo welcomes new additions

ATASCADERO — In time for the Labor Day weekend, the Charles Paddock Zoo announced the addition of two species of birds and a South American mammal to the variety of animals at the Zoo. The new animals include the Southern Tamandua, the Greater Curassow and the Red Fronted Macaw.

The Southern Tamandua is a small South American mammal related to the Giant Anteater. This species is nocturnal, but occasionally moves around during the day. You can find the Tamandua in the Zoo’s Marmoset exhibit.

The Greater Curassow is a large bird that inhabits Central and South America. They are considered “vulnerable,” meaning their population is declining by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) due to habitat loss.

These birds arrived here from Zoo Miami (also known as the Miami-Dade Zoological Park & Gardens) and have been at the Charles Paddock Zoo since May. The male has proven to be quite the Don Juan, as he is often seen trying to feed the female and taking nesting material to the nest box.

And finally, Red Fronted Macaws are a species only found in Bolivia. They are considered “endangered” by the IUCN and came to Atascadero from the Tulsa Zoo. These charming birds have quickly won the hearts of local zookeepers with their clever antics, such as unscrewing mister heads and chewing through zip ties.

Over 200 animal species call the Charles Paddock Zoo home. Many of the Zoo residents are part of globally managed programs to preserve animals and their habitats.

The Zoo is dedicated to the conservation of local and exotic species and features several unique species not often seen in facilities this size, including fossa, red pandas, a Malayan tiger, lemurs and meerkats, as well as many other exciting and interesting mammals, birds, reptiles and insects.

The Zoo is family-friendly with the opportunity for children and adults to experience animals up close.

Unique gifts, tasty refreshments and strollers are available at the zoo gift shop.

The Charles Paddock Zoo is located adjacent to the Atascadero Lake Park. Pack a picnic lunch, enjoy the new playground, take a paddleboat ride or just relax and enjoy the surroundings.  Tickets to the Charles Paddock Zoo are $7 for adults ages 12 to 65; $6 for seniors age 65 and over; $5 for children ages 3-11; and free for kids 2 and under.

The Charles Paddock Zoo is the Central Coast’s only Zoo that is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at Atascadero Lake Park on Highway 41/Morro Road in Atascadero, just one mile west of Highway 101.

For more information, go to or call the Zoo at 805-461-5080.


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