The Emperor Valley Zoo is the biggest zoo in Trinidad and Tobago. It is located north of the Queen's Park Savannah and west of the Royal Botanic Gardens in Port of Spain.
The zoo was first opened on November 8, 1952 by Governor Sir Hubert Rance. At that time, there were 10 cages containing 127 animals, mainly indigenous species. It now has a collection of over 2300 individuals and over 200 species.
The zoo was named after the large, blue Emperor or Morpho butterfly which once frequented the valley in which the zoo is situated. It covers 7.2 acres.
There are both local and foreign animals: lions, ocelots, parrots, macaws and many more including snakes, caiman, wildfowl giraffes, tigers and others. The categories include small mammals, large cats, a reptile house, aquariums, a deer park, primates and ponds.
The zoo has undergone major upgrades over the past few years, both for upkeep to its existing infrastructure to bring it up to international standards as well as in preparation for additions to its animal stock. These upgrades have been undertaken by the Zoological Society of Trinidad and Tobago (ZSTT). with financial assistance from the government of Trinidad and Tobago to the value of TTD $56 Million.
During the upgrade period there has been the construction of a Giraffe enclosure, which was populated in December 2013 by two giraffes and the addition of a Tiger exhibit which received three tigers in 2014 - two white Bengals and a ginger Bengal. The White Bengals have successfully bred and have had two cubs in January 2015.
In early 2016, according to the Facebook site (Emperor Valley Zoo (EVZ)), the EVZ has started caring for a Red Brocket fawn or baby deer. "At May 2, 2016, the little 2 week old red brocket deer, a species native to the forests of Trinidad, is now being cared for by Zoo's staff. The fawn, now named Elli, by its caretakers, is being bottle fed daily. Over the last three weeks, Elli has been introduced to a variety of plants and vegetables which she loves to munch on. "The little one continues to progress and develop very well. She has become bonded and with her caretakers. She loves her veges!", stated Education Officer, Solange de Silva. Red brocket deer (Mazama americana) is a species native to Trinidad. It inhabits tropical forests. Its fur is mainly reddish brown in colour. Newborns exhibit white spots on its coat. Adults can reach over 4 ft in length. Under the Conservation of Wildlife Act of Trinidad and Tobago, red brocket deer, like Elli, cannot be hunted during the closed hunting season."