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Dallas Zoo Artists

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One thing you learn early on in show biz? Never follow the animal act!

Whether waddling over the surface of the Donor Reflecting Pool or high-stepping it across the stage of the Winspear Opera House, the animal artists from the Dallas Zoo will always steal the show. But since Broadway shows and artists are taking a break during the pandemic, we were happy to have them!

You can watch that lovable video HERE!

And here’s the back story on these adorable local celebrities, and where they got their close-ups on the AT&T Performing Arts Center campus!

African Penguin (Donor Reflecting Pool)
Names: Sid and Donnie
• Native to Southern coast of Africa
• Conservation Status: Endangered and will be updated to Critically Endangered soon
• Dallas Zoo helps to supply artificial nests due to loss of natural nesting sites

Black and White Tegu (Donor Recognition Benches in Sammons Park)
Name: Spock
• Native to South America
• Males have puffy cheeks filled with fat to attract mates and dissuade predators
• Males tegus only have puffy cheeks, females have flat cheeks- this is an example of dimorphism

Eurasian Eagle Owl (Dressing Room backstage in the Winspear Opera House)
Name: Kruger
• Native to Europe and Asia
• Females are larger than males
• One of the largest owls in the world

Caribbean Flamingos (Shannon and Ted Skokos Stage in the Winspear Opera House)
Names: Aruba, Jamaica, Bermuda and Bahama
• Native to South America and Caribbean
• Do not get their color from shrimp, but rather from carotenoids in blue green algae that they eat
• Also called American Flamingos

Two Toed Sloth (PNC Members Lounge in the Winspear Opera House)
Name: Lola
• Native to Central and South America
• Sloths are slow moving and will actually grow algae in their fur which helps them to camouflage while hanging upside down in the trees

Radiated Tortoise (Reliant Putting Green in Sammons Park)
Name: Tana
• Native to Madagascar
• Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
• Known in Madagascar as “rain dancer or rain maker” tortoises because will shake back and forth when rain hits their shell

African Crested Porcupine (Sammons Community Stage in Sammons Park)
Name: Chimalsi (means young and proud in Swahili)
• Native to sub Saharan Africa
• Porcupines cannot shoot out their quills

You can see them in person at the Dallas Zoo. And you can enjoy the special drive-thru holiday presentation, Dallas Zoo Lights Presented by Reliant through January 3. Check the Zoo’s website for full details.