SAN DIEGO — One of the most biodiverse locations on Earth is being celebrated in San Diego this weekend.

The San Diego Zoo announced it will be highlighting the Peruvian Amazon on Saturday and Sunday in recognition of Endangered Species Day, which is celebrated annually on the third Friday in May. The event has been called “Wild Weekend.”

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the occasion is meant for the public to learn about endangered and threatened species, along with ways in which they can help preserve them.

This weekend, the zoo will have activities and educational opportunities connecting guests to critical conservation efforts across the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance’s Amazonia Conservation Hub.

Sometimes called the “lungs of the planet,” zoo officials will highlight how the Amazonia generates oxygen and affects weather patterns around the globe. Visitors can also learn how they can help save endangered rainforest wildlife.

Some beloved Amazonian species, according to the San Diego Zoo, include the two-toed sloth and the South American tapir. Here’s a look at those creatures in their habitats.

  • two-toed sloth
  • South American tapir

San Diego Zoo says horticulturists will also be discussing the importance of tropical forests and
sustainability throughout the weekend.

While the Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest tropical forest, zoo officials say nearly 20% has been destroyed over the past 50 years because of deforestation. This jeopardizes the Amazon’s ability to regulate the environment, while also threatening wildlife. 

“Wild Weekend” is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.