Detroit Zoo opens new habitat for Japanese giant salamanders

Detroit Zoo photo Japanese giant salamanders at the Detroit Zoo have a new habitat, zoo officials announced.

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (AP) — A new habitat at the Detroit Zoo is a home for Japanese giant salamanders.

The former Rainforest Immersion Gallery at the zoo’s National Amphibian Conservation Center has been transformed into a space to provide the aquatic amphibians with a habitat twice the size of their previous dwelling.

The renovated space at the zoo in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak features elements resembling the giant salamanders’ native landscape, including a waterfall, stream and underwater caves.

Male salamanders Bob, Dieter and Sven are in the new habitat and females Hatsue and Helga are currently in the old habitat until the spring, which is breeding season. The Japanese giant salamander can grow to more than 4 feet in length, weigh up to 88 pounds and live about 50 years.