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December 2011 - Longest Resident Species

Jacksonville Zoo History 1914-2014
Featured December 2011
Alan F. Rost, Biological Programs Registrar and unofficial Zoo historian

Longest Resident Species

One of the more often asked questions is how long have some particular species been at our Zoo during its 97 year history.  Our records are not that complete before early 1977, but here are some best guesses from what we do know about how long some of our long term species have been at the Jacksonville Zoo (not always in consecutive years).

Fish, Amphibians and Invertebrates:  The only species from these groups that has been in our collection for any real length of time is the koi.  The first koi we know about arrived sometime between 1958 and 1962 and we have had koi since that time.

Reptiles: Without a doubt, our longest Zoo resident is the American Alligator at 97 years.  Other long term reptile residents include:

  • Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake - ~46 years
  • Aldabra Tortoise - ~44 years
  • Gopher Tortoise and Yellow Ratsnake - ~39 years
  • Eastern Indigo Snake - ~36 years
  • Florida Pine Snake - ~35 years

Birds: The longest bird resident we can document is the Indian Blue Peafowl at ~48 years.  Other long term bird residents include:

  • American Flamingo - ~46 years
  • Ostrich - ~43 years
  • Red-Headed/Pondicherry Vulture - ~41 years

Mammals: I highly suspect the longest mammal resident is the lion, but the longest species residence I can reasonably document is the Mandrill at ~72 years.  Other long term mammal residents include:

  • Puma (including Florida Panther) – ~63 years
  • Chimpanzee – ~59 years
  • Giraffe – 54 years
  • Jaguar – 53 years
  • Lion – ~48 years
  • White Rhino – 44 years
  • Siamang – 43 years
  • West African Pygmy Goat – ~41 years
  • Diana Monkey – ~40 years
  • Leopard – ~39 years

Miss Chic the Jacksonville Zoo’s First Elephant - Featured November 2011
Updates to Date - Featured January 2012

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