Bloomington, Ill. (WCIA)

We are thrilled to welcome Julia Benzel from the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, who is introducing Gwen, the fascinating Honduran curly-haired tarantula, to the community!

Did you know that these intriguing arachnids originate from the tropical scrublands of South America, specifically Costa Rica and Honduras? With a leg span of 5-6 inches when fully grown, these new world tarantulas have captured the hearts of many zoo visitors. Notably, females can live up to 20-25 years, while their male counterparts typically have a lifespan of 5-10 years. Our experts at Miller Park Zoo suspect that Gwen is a female, judging by her size compared to our other tarantula, “Miles,” from the same clutch.

Don’t miss the chance to meet Gwen and Miles during upcoming Miller Park Zoo events, including the highly anticipated WildLights event!

WildLights Two weekends!

  • December 1st & 2nd, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM
  • December 8th & 9th, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit with a walk through the Zoo, adorned with festive lights and decorations. Join the activities for both kids and the kids at heart, including a fun craft session and the chance to savor some hot chocolate. Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase a $3 kit and make your own delicious s’mores!

Additionally, there is a Zoo Explorers event, “Animal Senses,” designed for children ages 6-11. Join for an engaging 2-hour adventure, filled with animal encounters, interactive learning, and hands-on experiences within the Zoo premises. Make sure to secure your spot by signing up for one class each day. The curriculum will remain the same for both the morning and afternoon sessions.

Zoo Explorers – Animal Senses Ages 6 – 11

  • Monday, January 15th, 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM / 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
  • Fee: Family Zoo Society members – $10 per child; non-members – $14 per child