November 25, 2022
A local zoo is asking for the public's help in naming two of its newest feathered friends.
The Cape May County Zoo has added a breeding pair of Toco Toucans, the largest members of the toucan family and one of the most recognizable species of birds in the world. The birds arrived from the Dallas World Aquarium located in Dallas, Texas.
Thanks to a successful fundraising effort, the Cape May County Zoological Society was able to construct a new habitat for the toucans and welcome the male and female.
Now through Dec. 4, for a $5 donation, animal lovers can submit ideas to the first round of the Name the Toucans Contest. The Cape May County Zoological Society will select the top favorites, and the contest's second round will allow the public to donate $1 per vote to pick their favorite.
Toco Toucans, also known as common toucans, are the best-known and the largest species in the toucan family, averaging 1.4 pounds. They can grow to an average height of 25 inches tall.
They range throughout northern South America, inhabiting the rainforest canopy, typically in pairs or small groups. Toco Toucans have recognizable orange beaks, as long as the rest of their bodies, that are used to hold and peel their predominant source of food: fruit. They also eat berries, nuts, insects, frogs and small reptiles.
Cape May County Zoo's new toucans can be found in the South America section of the zoo, across from the Capybara. This habitat offers indoor viewing so the birds can be seen during the cold months of the year.
"The Toco Toucans are a fantastic addition to our Zoo family and will add to the growing list of species that attract visitors to come back throughout the year," Commissioner E. Marie Hayes, liaison to the Cape May County Parks and Zoo, said in a release. "We encourage visitors to not only view these beautiful birds but also help in naming them."
Cape May County Parks and Zoo, located at 707 US-9 North, Cape May Court House, are free to enter and open daily year-round except Christmas Day. The County Parks are open from 7 a.m. until dusk and the Zoo is open from 10 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. daily.