The Clayton Family Amphibian and Reptile Conservation (ARC) Campus will showcase exciting species like the radiated tortoise, poison dart frog, red spitting cobra, gravity defying cuban croc, and a sloth.
CONSERVATORY & VENOMOUS GALLERY
Get close to new species of crocodiles, lizards, salamanders, turtles, frogs and snakes. Enjoy immersive experiences and a chance to customize your own reptile or amphibian.
We’re showing off our radiated tortoises, and over a dozen endangered Asian turtle species, in the all new Greenhouse habitat. You’ll also see unique tropical plants from Southeast Asia!
Internationally known for its turtle and tortoise collection, Zoo Knoxville will show off its radiated tortoises and other stars in the all new Greenhouse habitat. The adjacent Adventure Lab includes classrooms and meeting space for expanded learning opportunities.
Get in our outdoor wetland classroom. Interact with animals in marshes and bogs filled with life. Hop across large lily pads. Collect specimens and bring them back into the classroom to investigate.
The Adventure Lab will give guests of all ages the opportunity to get a closer look at the wetlands and enjoy hands-on learning. Engaging STEM programming will enhance school curriculum while fostering an appreciation and understanding of the important role of wetlands for water quality and sustainable ecosystems.
North American River Otters
Golden Dart Frog
These brightly-colored amphibians may look cute, but they are considered one of the world’s deadliest animals. Their beautiful patterns aren’t just for looks either — they serve as a warning to potential predators. Scientists think that poison dart frogs get their toxicity from some fo the insects they eat—ants, termites, beetles, and other small bugs. Poison dart frogs live in the rain forests of Central and South America. Many species are endangered due to climate change and habitat loss.
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Considered one of the world’s most beautiful tortoises, with a yellow head, legs and feet, and a high-domed carapace (or shell) with yellow lines radiating in a star pattern. Sensitive to touch, with an excellent sense of smell. Because of the extreme heat where they live they are early risers, spending their mornings eating grass, succulents and cacti. Babies hatch out yellow and black, which aids them in hiding from predators.
Spiny forest and coastal sand dunes of Madagascar
16 in. long; 35 lbs.
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The Cuban Crocodile, while not a particularly large species, is often regarded as the most aggressive crocodile and is dominant over larger crocodiles in the area. These crocs feed on fish, turtles, and small mammals. This highly intelligent species is also the most terrestrial of crocodilians. They display cooperative hunting behavior which has rarely been documented in other species. The Cuban Crocodile can only be found in Cuba, where it is critically endangered. Its restricted habitat as well as hunting make it very vulnerable to extinction.
Cuba; Freshwater Marshlands & Rivers
7-11 ft.; 150-180 lbs.
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Fun on the outside, serious about animals on the inside. Zoo Knoxville is committed to being part of the solution to save species from extinction, both locally and globally.
Zoo Knoxville works with other accredited zoos on a collective Species Survival Plan for all animals that live in accredited North American zoos. The zoo staff works to maintain a healthy, genetically diverse population to ensure we don’t lose animals to extinction.
We’ve become a world leader in tortoise and turtle conservation. Zoo Knoxville became the first zoo to ever hatch the critically endangered northern spider tortoises in captivity. At the ARC Campus, you can see babies shortly after hatching and learn how we raise them for the first few months.
The ARC Campus combines animal habitats with education space to spark curiosity and inspire learning. Get involved in outdoor classrooms, get to know keepers and animals, and explore marshes and bogs filled with life. You can be the future conservationists we need.
The ARC Center is an innovative model, combining animal habitats with education space, all designed to spark curiosity and inspire learning. Classrooms will also be outdoors, providing more opportunities to interact with zoo staff and animals in marshes and bogs filled with life.
Zoo Knoxville is involved with conservation work in the field to save East Tennessee’s endangered bog turtle and ongoing research with native hellbender and mudpuppy salamanders. We travel to places like the Komodo Islands and Madagascar to study animals in their native habitats.