Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Dragon Sensory Hours: The dragons will be asleep from 2 to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Panamanian Golden Frog

Atelopus zeteki

Range & Habitat

In the Wild: Lives in two types of habitats - Wet forest streams and dry forest streams along the slopes of the Cordilleran Mountains of Panama and western-central Panama, from 1,100-4,300 feet above sea level. A fast-flowing stream suits them best.

At the Zoo: USS Antiquities cave


Conservation Status: Critically Endangered

Critically Endangered due to habitat loss, illegal collection for the pet trade, and a fungal outbreak that is destroying many amphibians in Central America and around the world. The species is now believed to be extinct in the wild. However, it is found in managed-care facilities throughout North America working together to save this species


In the Wild: insects, invertebrates

At the Zoo: pinhead crickets, wingless fruit flies, algae

Life Span

In the Wild - little information exists since they are thought to be extinct in the wild; In Human Care - 10 to 15 years

Fun Facts about the Panamanian Golden Frog

  • The Panamanian golden frog’s skin is toxic in the wild due to the food it eats. The skin of a single frog contains enough toxins to kill 1,200 mice. Its vibrant yellow color warns potential predators of its toxicity.
  • These frogs are considered good luck in Panama and are the country’s national animal.
  • Males of this species make loud calls, which is an interesting behavior since they don’t have eardrums! They communicate by using a form of sign language. They “wave” their hand or raise and move their feet to defend territory, to try to attract a mate or to even greet one another.



Animal Guide: Columbus Zoo And Aquarium. (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2020, from

Panamanian Golden Frog. (2020). Retrieved December 10, 2020, from

Panamanian golden frog. (2020, February 25). Retrieved December 10, 2020, from

Panamanian golden frog. (2020, May 28). Retrieved December 10, 2020, from


Updated June 13, 2023
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