What's that smell at the Zoo?

There's a new addition to the Toronto Zoo. But it's not a species of animal, rather a rare flower.

Amorphophallus titanum, better known as the corpse flower, is now blooming.

The seeds to this unique flower were planted 5 years ago and weren't expected to flower for at least another five, but then something magical happened, according to zoo curator Paul Gellatly, who spoke to NEWSTALK 1010 Thursday.

"It's from Indonesia. Down there they're just coming into their spring, so we can't trick a plant eventhough it's up here, it still thinks it's coming into spring."

Late Thursday afternoon, Gellatly and his team confirmed the flower had begun to bloom, becoming the first corpse flower ever to bloom in the GTA. 

But it's a quick short process for this type of unique plant, that at full bloom stands about 4 feet tall and currently resides in the green house at the zoo.

"Basically what happens is the centre core of the flower, the spadix, is actually heating and will it heat up to human body temperature and emit waves of the stench."

Ah that stench. Best described as "rotting meat". Gellatly admits it can be rather intense even prior to full bloom.

"I can smell it standing about five or six feet away, but at the peak of the stench tonight(Thursday) and into tomorrow,you'll smell it throughout the entire greenhouse."   

The Toronto Zoo extended its hours of operation for people to come and see the corpse flower until midnight Thursday, then will reopen for business Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Cost of admission to get a rare glimpse and whiff of the flower at the zoo is $12.