TYLER, Texas (KETK) — If you’ve noticed a bit of construction going on at Caldwell Zoo, you’re not alone. The zoo is planning something big for spring 2024.

The South American area of the Caldwell Zoo is getting a total makeover. It will be called the Amazon River’s Edge and take up about one-third of the zoo.

When it is complete, the new area will feature a flowing river that runs through it and will serve as part of a habitat for the giant river otters. According to a spokesperson for the Caldwell Zoo, the giant river otters can grow up to 6 feet long.

Amazon River’s Edge will also feature a walk-through aviary area for visitors to see all types of birds that are native to South America.

The Caldwell Zoo will welcome capybaras that will live near the “river.” The new area will feature a habitat for sloths and a special jaguar habitat that will allow the big cats to move from place to place.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to use the meeting space in the South American area. For the little ones, there will be a children’s area with goats for them to interact with.

  • Amazon River's Edge at Caldwell Zoo (Photo courtesy: Caldwell Zoo/BKP Architects)
  • Project image created by BKP Architects. Photo courtesy of Caldwell Zoo.

The South American area of Caldwell Zoo was the oldest part, so zoo officials decided to redo it first when making plans for zoo improvement.

Zoo officials said the Amazon River’s Edge will be a “very dynamic and engaging area,” with endangered and charismatic species.