You’ll enjoy new babies, old favorites, and upgraded amenities when the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo opens for its 49th season on Saturday, April 20.
A highlight of the season is the arrival of two new Sumatran tigers. The brother and sister pair, named Bugara and Indah, arrived form the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas in February to replace tigers Teddy and Kemala, who moved to other zoos for breeding purposes. The 1-1/2 year-old cats are playful and very interested in people because they were hand-reared after being rejected by their mother.
Two baby monkeys born last fall are lively additions to the African Journey. A baby colobus monkey named Kaasidy was born in September and a swamp monkey named Orion joined the troop in November.
At least three kangaroo joeys are exploring the Australian Adventure. Born last May or June, the joeys have only recently been out of their mothers’ pouches. All of the joeys were sired by the zoo’s only adult male kangaroo, Mako, who arrived here two years ago.
Two unique southeast Asian reptiles will arrive in the Indonesian Rain Forest later this season. Viper boas, which are small nonvenomous snakes, will live in Dr. Diversity’s Rain Forest Research Station. Crocodile skinks are unusual lizards found along jungle waterways. They’ll be housed near the rain forest’s waterfall.
Many construction projects were completed to improve guest service and maintain the high quality of exhibits within the zoo. The red panda exhibit was rebuilt this winter, and the colobus monkey exhibit was relocated within the African Village; it remains under construction through May. Both projects were funded by generous donors. To improve accessibility, the mulch pathway in the Indonesian Rain Forest was replaced with a boardwalk made from recycled plastic lumber, thanks to the support of the AWS Foundation.
The African Village underwent significant improvements, including replacement of mulched walkways with concrete paths, expansion of the African Oasis concession stand, additional seating for the concession stand, renovations to the restroom facilities, and new landscaping. The zoo’s food service partner, Service Systems Associates, participated in the upgrades.
“We are eager to share our new babies – and the entire zoo experience – with our half-million guests in 2013,” says Anderson. “It’s going to be a great season at the zoo!