Visit Dublin Zoo’s South American House - Dublin Zoo, Ireland.

South American House

The South American House, is home to over nine species including monkeys, tortoises and parrots from the rainforests of Central and South America. Colourful or camouflaged, shy or show-off, each species has its own place in the forests. However, many of these species are now in danger due to hunting and deforestation.


  • Goeldi’s monkey: Goeldi’s blend into the forest so well that they were only first described in 1904. These rare, dark-haired monkeys, from western regions of South America’s tropical rainforests, mainly feed on fruit, vegetables, bird eggs and insects.


  • White–faced saki: Fast-moving sakis live in small family groups in the forests of Brazil, Venezuela and the Guianas. Sakis are normally shy, but put on a real show of aggression to protect their territory. They arch their backs, shake their hair, and the tree branches, and growl loudly.


  • Golden lion tamarin: These tamarins use their clawed fingers to dig for insects, spiders and lizards. Golden lion tamarins live in family groups, with a pair of dominant breeding adults and their young. The female gives birth to twins and the whole group helps to look after them.


  • Pygmy marmoset: Pygmy marmosets are the world’s smallest monkeys, with tails as long as their bodies. You’ll probably hear these marmosets before you spot them. They make bird-like calls to keep in touch as they move through the trees.


  • Bolivian squirrel monkey: Squirrel monkeys come from the rainforests of South America. They are highly social and live in large groups. They often mix with capuchins for safety, as the larger monkeys call out to warn of predators.


  • Two-toed sloth: Sloths spend most of their life hanging from branches by their long hooked claws. The sloth lives a slow, upside down life in the forests of South and Central America. It sleeps for up to 15 hours a day and even when awake, stays still to save energy and avoid predators.


  • Central American wood turtles: These strikingly marked reptiles are also known as painted wood turtles. These turtles never stray far from water. They are found in moist forests and open woodlands, from northwest Costa Rica to southern Nicaragua.


  • Mexican military macaw: Military macaws live in pairs or small flocks in dry woodlands and forests, from Mexico to Argentina. They roost in the trees, flying off in the early morning to forage.




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