The Zoo at Chehaw is home to 234 specimens representing over 73 different species. Enjoy natural, outdoor exhibits including Cheetahs, Black Rhinoceros’, Meerkats, Black Bears, Alligators, and many more, while you stroll through our scenic boardwalks and cypress swamp. Participate in animal feedings and keeper talks every weekend. Chehaw’s African Veldt Ride is free with admission, and will take you through our largest exhibit where seven different species roam in natural herds. The Zoo at Chehaw undergoes regular, thorough investigation to ensure that it has met, and will to continue to meet, ever-rising standards. These standards encompass animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. 

Honduran Curlyhair Tarantula

Brachypelma albopilosum


The curlyhair tarantula’s name derives from the unique, curly hairs on its plump body. It has an undercoat of dark-brown to black hairs, and longer golden hairs that give it a shaggy look. There are specialized hairs on the butt of these tarantulas that are used as a defense mechanism. When in danger, they will use their hind legs to kick these hairs off of their abdomen and onto a predator. It can cause blindness if it comes into contact with eyes, and will irritate any skin it lands on. One sign of a stressed out curlyhair tarantula is a bare butt.

In the past, the curlyhair was taken from the wild in large numbers but has since become so abundant in the pet trade that they are actively bred in captivity. These tarantulas are the most common to be found in the pet trade due to their very docile nature. While they do possess venom, which is specialized to paralyze and liquefy its prey, they rarely bite and are not fatal to humans unless an allergic reaction occurs. Their main prey is insects, but they are known to eat small vertebrates as well, since they are opportunistic ambushers.

They are found in Central America, from Honduras to Costa Rica, in tropical scrubland. They are terrestrial animals, living solely on land. Since they are a burrowing species, they never had to adapt to heights and consequently can suffer fatally if they were to climb and fall, having the potential to split open their large abdomen.

Plains Zebra

Equus quagga

The Plains Zebra (Equus quagga) is one of the most abundant and diverse animals of the African Plains. The iconic black and white stripes on these single-hoofed animals are believed to have various functions. The most popular of these beliefs is a type of camouflage but not in the way most animals camouflage themselves. Rather than blending in with their surroundings, the stripes on a zebra help them blend in with each other, thus making it difficult for predators to determine the size and number of zebras in the herd. These markings also serve as a deterrent of horseflies and may even work as type of temperature regulator and sunscreen. Much like our fingerprints, each zebras’ stripes are unique and can vary in pattern, width and color.

Zebras are a social animal and lives in groups called harems that are typically led by a stallion with several mares and their offspring. Several harems have been seen associating with one another to form larger herds on the African plains. They will travel thousands of miles in search of foods such as grasses and leaves. Here their major predators are lions, hyenas, and cheetahs. When a possible predator threatens the herd, the members of the herd will alert each other and the head stallion will fight while his herd runs.

The conservation status of the zebra varies from not endangered to vulnerable depending on the subspecies.