Step into our sub-tropical Monsoon Forest building - the largest indoor zoo exhibit in UK history - and experience the heart of Islands.
I followed the path round from the HUTAN Jungle Reserve, on the island of Sumatra, and continued on my expedition through Islands.
In the distance I could hear the distinct call of the rhinoceros hornbill – one of the largest birds found in the rainforests of South East Asia. With their piercing eyes and their large wing span – which creates a loud ‘whoosh’ noise - these birds can be quite intimidating, but I couldn’t wait to see one.
The path led me to the broken tree - I’d made it to Monsoon Forest…
As soon as I stepped foot into the rainforest I was greeted with a number of sights, smells and sounds; it was exhilarating! But it was the change in temperature that I notice the most. It’s tropical here!
There was so much to take in! I was surrounded by exotic plants in all shapes, sizes and colours. I could also hear the faint sound of water falling ahead of me, so I knew that I couldn’t be that far from the Sunda gharial, one of the largest types of crocodile found on Earth.
I spent some time in the Tripa Forest Research Station brushing up on my conservation and research skills and also observed a family of Moloch gibbons as they explored their habitat right in front of me.
I think this was one of my favourite places on my expedition. I enjoyed discovering a number of unique and amazing animals and plants all within one environment – from small insects to large crocodiles. There’s too much for me to report back, so I definitely recommend you organise your own expedition soon! It’s a place full of extraordinary wildlife.
Katie - budding conservationist
Find out how Chester Zoo created this tropical environment right here in Cheshire by watching this short documentary.
Take your time exploring Monsoon Forest – there are a number of unique & amazing animals and plants all waiting to be discovered here
Don’t forget to explore the Tripa Forest Research Station and brush up on your conservation skills
Deep within Monsoon Forest you’ll find one of the world’s largest crocodiles and also one of the most endangered turtles in South East Asia
Keep your ears and eyes open for the different types of beautiful birds found in Monsoon Forest – they won’t just be flying above you, they’ll be wandering along the forest floor too