Alerts

Please note February 3rd to February 4th 2023, Zoomobile may be experiencing closures and delays due to weather and unforeseen circumstances.
Please note that due to the cold temperatures expected, the Conservation Carousel will be closed on Saturday, February 4.

Please also note our Zoomobile will now be taking an alternate route through the Eurasia Wilds and will no longer be travelling through the Eurasia Drive Thru.


Please note the following animals that may not be viewable at this time:

Americas Pavilion
Two-toed sloth, golden lion tamarin, white-faced saki, river otter, Eastern loggerhead shrike, and black-footed ferret are all currently not viewable due to habitat maintenance.

Eurasia Wilds
The Stellar Sea Eagles are currently not viewable.

Canadian Domain: 
Closed for the season.

African Savanna:
Some animals may not be viewable due to decreasing temperatures.

Kids Zoo
Closed for the season.


Saturday, February 25 - Move Your Paws for the Polar Bear Cause 5K/1K Run/Walk

Please be advised that your Toronto Zoo and Canada Running Series will be hosting the Move Your Paws for the Polar Bear Cause 5K/1K Run/Walk at the Zoo on February 25th to raise funds for the Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy and polar bear conservation. 

Please note the following operational impacts:

  • For their well-being, some animals along the Move Your Paws route may be delayed going out on habitat in the morning. Guests may experience slight delays on other pathways as the run finishes and the race route is cleared. 
    • Tundra Trek: Caribou will not be visible and the path to the Caribou habitat will be closed for the entire day
  • Zoomobile: Begins operating at 11:45 am
EmeraldTreeBoa
EmeraldTreeBoa
Reptile

Location at the Zoo:
Australasia
Region: South America


Emerald tree boa

There is much variation in colour and pattern in the emerald tree boa, particularly in juveniles, according to their region. Newborns may be red or orange or a mix of red and orange or red, orange, and green. The adult specimen is a striking green with white blotches along the dorsal midline. The emerald tree boa is characterized by large, distinctive labial heat receptors. These infrared heat receptors are located in the labial scales. These heat pits run along both the upper and lower lips. The head is large and obviously separate from the neck. The average adult length is 1.8 meters but again there are variations according to region. The body is typically five cm in diameter.

Conservation Status: IUCN




Distribution:

Found in Columbia, Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, French Guinea, Guyana, and Surinam.

Habitat:

Found in mature forested areas. They are found from sea level to altitudes of 800 meters.

Diet:

This boa's diet consists mostly of small mammals, such as rats, bats, and possums, but also includes birds and lizards.

Reproduction:

Emerald boas are ovoviviparous (live birth). They have up to twenty young at a time, who are born up to 30 cm long. Young emerald tree boas begin to turn green after 10 to 12 months. These snakes take one or two years longer to reach sexual maturity than other boids.

Adaptation:

This is an arboreal and nocturnal species. Days are spent coiled in a tree branch with its head at the centre of the coil. At night this position is adjusted by extending the head downward in preparation for a strike. It holds this position waiting and watching for prey to approach from below or birds to alight nearby. As ambush predators their well-developed labial heat receptors allow them to see any heat emitting from approaching animals. Prey is grasped with the long frontal teeth, pulled in and constricted to asphyxiation.
Emeralds have the smallest angle of maxillary teeth to the maxilla bone than any other boid. This means the teeth are pointed more sharply backward. After striking their prey they have an extra advantage in that the teeth will be more deeply embedded as the animal tries to pull free, lessening the chance of escape. The tail is prehensile, giving a secure hold on the branch after they strike their prey.

The neonatal emerald colour variations may be mimicking the multi-coloured vipers of the same regions. After the juvenile takes on the mature colouration, it then depends on camouflage as a defense.

Threats to Survival:

Although cryptic colouration provides excellent camouflage, birds of prey pose a threat. Loss of forest habitat fragments populations. Other threats include illegal collection for the pet trade beyond sustainable harvest quotas in human settled areas.