CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE, N.J. - The Cape May County Zoo is excited to announce a couple of new arrivals to the Zoo. Two female Greater Rhea joined the South American section of the Zoo this week. These flightless birds are smaller South American cousins to the Ostrich and are also known as grey, common, or American Rhea. They are the largest birds that are native to South Americas and are found in Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Dr. Alexander Ernst, Associate Veterinarian at the Cape May County Zoo, reported, “The Greater Rheas are about a year old and stand about 4.5 feet and weigh about 40 lbs. These young females came to us from Six Flags Great Adventure and can be seen living with our Capybara in the South America section of the Zoo”.
The Greater Rhea species inhabits grassland areas as well as savanna, scrub forest and desert lands. The Rhea’s diet consists of broad-leaved foliage, seeds, and fruit when in season, and also insects, scorpions, fish, small rodents, reptiles and small birds.
Commissioner Andrew Bulakowski, liaison to the Cape May County Parks and Zoo, said, “The continued growth of our Zoo family is exciting for the staff and visitors and adds to the educational experience for people of all ages. I encourage everyone to make a trip to the Zoo as often as possible to see how it changes and becomes better each time you go. The Greater Rheas are just two of the new arrivals this year. I can’t say enough about the hard work and dedication the staff does every day to make our Parks and Zoo the best in the State and beyond. Without them we would not have the opportunity to receive new animals and expand our offerings”.
The Cape May County Parks and Zoo are open daily and free to the public. The Parks are open from 7 a.m. to dusk; and the Zoo is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.