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You will find information about the West Valley side of the Phoenix Metro area. "Snappy" will also feature attractions and places throughout Arizona.

Arizona is more than the Grand Canyon state, it is a place to embrace and call home. From our famous palm trees to our beautiful pine trees, Arizona's landscape is brimming with nature's grandeur and diversity. Our majestic mountains invite you to climb, our valleys coax you to explore and our plains whisper stories of civilizations past. Saddle up to history-rich towns, breathtaking views and world-class fashion and food.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium in Litchfield Park AZ

After nearly 7 years of planning and construction, the first public aquarium located between Albuquerque and San Diego opened its doors in late 2008. Due to strong visitor support, construction for the next phase of its expansion is already well underway.

The Wildlife World Aquarium's campus-like design is unique with some 75 indoor exhibits featuring fish, mammals, birds, invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles located in three, soon to be four, buildings. Currently, each building has a different title and theme: The Diversity of Life in Water; The Wild and The Wonderful; and Predators. Notable aquarium species include: Asian Small-Clawed Otters, black tip reef sharks, black-footed penguins, eels, stingrays visitors can touch and feed, seahorses, flamingos, barracuda, jellyfish, Nile and dwarf crocodiles -- nearly 150 new aquatic and semi-aquatic species in all. The total volume of display tanks, not including miles of plumbing and life support, several new water features, and a log flume ride, contain approximately 180,000 gallons of water.

The latest Aquarium building, scheduled to open in mid-2011, will have about 7000 square feet of public display area featuring marine turtles and a permanent small-clawed otter habitat.  The main exhibit will be a 40 x 10 foot, 40,000-gallon Amazon River Monsters display containing 3-4 foot long arowana, even larger arapaima and other South American fresh water giants.  These species are so large, they are well known for their ability to jump several feet out of the water to catch prey animals such as birds and primates perched over the water.  In addition, the display will have the menacing payara, nicknamed the “vampire fish,” with 6-inch fangs protruding from its lower jaw!

Other creatures from the Amazon River system will include: Giant Amazon turtles that can grow to nearly 4 feet across, Yellow spotted turtles, black piranhas as well as freshwater stingrays. The new aquarium building will also feature a 20-foot diameter display for marine turtles.  Of the seven species of sea turtle, 6 are listed as threatened or endangered due to poaching, habitat loss, and pollution.

Following the successful plan of the first three aquarium buildings, the latest Wildlife World Aquarium building will also have outdoor animal exhibits, including an indoor-outdoor pool with underwater viewing that will provide a permanent home for three adult small-clawed otters and a recent litter of pups temporarily on display in the Aquarium Predator Building.

Located along the western edge of the Phoenix metropolitan area in Litchfield Park, the Wildlife World Zoo first opened its doors in 1984. With the opening of the Aquarium, Wildlife World has solidified its position as home to Arizona's largest collection of exotic animals with over 4000 animals representing nearly 600 species.

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