With longer days, kids off school, and weather that just begs for folks to roam outdoors, summertime is the busy season for the vast majority of zoos. Because of that, many zoos target late spring early summer for exhibit openings, hoping to further entice veteran zoo-goers and first-time visitors alike. Unlike recent years, June 2013 seems to have been an especially noteworthy month with a handful of new exhibit openings and a major ground-breaking.
Oregon Zoo’s Elephant Lands: The $53 million exhibit broke ground in June, and features 3.6 acres for the elephants with a 36,000 square foot barn. Additional focus on enrichment with unique feeding stations, mud wallows and plenty of water access.
Shedd Aquarium’s At Home on the Great Lakes: With a local focus, the new exhibit (part of the existing Waters of the World) brings attention to native wildlife and issues they face. Features a Sturgeon touch tank.
Como Park Zoo’s Gorilla Forest: The $11 million exhibit doubles the outdoor habitat for the Zoo’s 7 gorillas to 10,000 square feet. The yard is fully enclosed in mesh and features lots of nose-to-nose viewing opportunities.
San Diego Zoo’s Conrad Preby’s Africa Rocks: Officially announced in June, the Africa Rocks exhibit will feature three distinct habitat types housing over 50 species of small animals. The Zoo is working to raise a total of $30 million.
Greensboro Science Center’s SciQuarium: The first inland aquarium in the state, the Science Center continues to redefine our notion of science-based experience with the opening of the $32 million, 22,000 square foot facility.