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​Wetlands are on the agenda in February, with the zoo drawing attention to their importance. There are also other fun things to do this month.
FROGS and cranes will be the centre of attention at the Johannesburg Zoo in February, to mark International Wetlands Day.

Varous activities on International Wetlands Day will focus on preserving wetlandsActivities on International Wetlands Day will focus on preserving wetlandsDuring the month, there will be an educational focus on these species, as well as specific activities to rouse the interest of visitors.

For schools, there will be picture building games, in which pupils will learn about healthy wetland systems, among other activities. They will also visit the zoo’s wetland to compare it to their models they have built.

These activities will take place on World Wetlands Day, on 2 February. The day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in Iran in 1971.

The aim of involving learners in the celebrations is to raise awareness of wetland biodiversity.

On 29 February, which is Leap Day, there will be frog talks as well as a fundraising walk for frogs at the zoo. These are among other activities during the month.

On 8 February, David Preston, the winner of the zoo’s photography competition in December 2011, will receive his prize – a Nikon D3100 with a 55-200mm lens and a Joburg Zoo annual pass. Preston impressed judges, topping the list of 150 entries.

FrogsFrogs are also on the agendaFebruary is also the month of love, what with Valentine’s Day falling on the 14th, and the zoo will be adding to the romance with a Moonlight Tour. According to Candice Segal, the zoo’s marketing assistant, couples will be taken to visit the nocturnal animals that are usually hidden from day-time visitors.

The Moonlight Tour will run throughout the month. Patrons are encouraged to bring along their picnic baskets and be entertained by the soothing sounds of a violinist. Booking is essential.

For those who like to stay fit and healthy while enjoying the zoo’s relaxing atmosphere, the Zoo Trot is the answer. The programme is perfect for serious runners or families who participate in active sport together.

“The Zoo Trot takes place every second Sunday of the month and consists of a 5km run or a walk. For every three consecutive trots completed, you receive a trot medal with one of the zoo animals on it,” says Segal.

The first February trot is on 12 February at 7.30am, and the entry fee is R35.

Visitors will also be able to join feeding sessions, with the opportunity to get up close with their favourite animals. Animals will be fed their specific diets; the amount of food they consume is based on their age and weight.

Visitors will be able to join feeding sessionsVisitors will be able to join feeding sessionsThe feeding sessions take place on weekends and on public holidays at the chimpanzee, vulture, ground hornbill, polar bear, wild dog, crocodile and gorilla enclosures.

Another activity is the zoo’s Family Day, which can be enjoyed by families, groups or companies who want to use it as a corporate team building event. At these gatherings, there are games, photo opportunities with animals and tours.

The zoo also offers variety of tours, on which skilled tour guides take visitors through the zoo and give them insightful information about the animals. “Many tours on offer will suit any age group and give you an up close view of our animals,” Segal explains.

They are Day, Night, Behind the Scenes and Zoo Snooze tours. Booking is essential for all.

And one can visit the young and curious babies that were born last year and early this year. “Zoo babies are easy to locate, with our new baby flags at the enclosures.”

There are bushbuck, red lechewe, porcupine, runner duck, Zulu sheep, zebra, nyala sheep and Arabian oryx babies.

For more information on these events or bookings for tours, contact the zoo on 011 646 2000 or send an email to

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