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
Mekong Barb
Mekong Barb
Fish

Location at the Zoo:
Indo-Malaya
Region: Indomalaya


Mekong barb

The Mekong barb is also known as the giant Siamese carp. This giant barb is the world’s largest species of carp. They have been known to reach 300 kilograms. However, 100 kilogram specimens have become exceptionally rare in recent years. They can reach a length of up to three metres. They are covered in very large dark silver grey to black scales with lighter grey, dark blue or dark green edges. They have dark to black fins and tails. The head and mouth are very large. The large mouth has pink lips and the cheeks are light to cream coloured.

Conservation Status: IUCN




Distribution:

The Mekong River system from Cambodia to the Mekong Delta.

Habitat:

They normally live in deep pools along the edges of large rivers. They favour deep, weedy slow-moving water, but they can also be found in canals or river floodplains. Juveniles inhabit floodplains, swamps and smaller tributaries.

Diet:

Overall vegetarian, but are opportunistic feeders. They eat tiny plants, such as phytoplankton, as well as algae, seaweed, and the fruits of submerged terrestrial plants (during periods of high water). They move around the river bed sucking up a variety of food items.

Reproduction:

They are a non-guarding species, as opposed to either live bearers (such as guppies) or nest/egg guarders (such as sticklebacks). This method of reproduction results in heavy predation of the eggs and newly hatched larvae. The female and male broadcast their eggs and sperm (or milt) into the water, where fertilization occurs. The young fish, or larvae, hatch after a few days, and are totally independent. They reach sexual maturity at seven years of age. A low percentage of juveniles reach maturity.

Adaptation:

The Mekong barb is a tetraploid species. This means that unlike most other animals, they have four of each chromosome. Most animals are diploid and have two of each chromosome. While the large size of the adults is a form of protection against most predators, it works to their great disadvantage where humans are concerned. Bigger fish are in high demand for food, and they are more easily caught.

Threats to Survival:

Over-fishing, river traffic, dams, habitat loss, and pollution. These fish have been reported as being heavily depleted, with few living to reach maturity. They are a favourite food source in Asia. According to the Mekong River Commission, the Mekong barb is not on the IUCN Red List.