Lincoln, Neb. – Lincoln Children’s Zoo opened the largest expansion in zoo history on Friday. The new 10-acre addition to the zoo includes giraffes, Sumatran tigers, spider monkeys and red pandas as well as an adventure area for children called the Secret Jungle, an outdoor play stream and Wild Kingdom Theater for animal presentations.
In attendance for the ribbon cutting were Zoo President, John Chapo, the great-great-grandchildren of Arnott Folsom, the zoo’s founder, Governor Pete Ricketts, Mayor-elect Leirion Gaylor Baird and supporters of the zoo. The great-great-grandchildren of Arnott Folsom assisted in cutting the ribbon.
Facts about the new areas of the zoo.
-Covering over 8,600 square feet, the indoor giraffe habitat is the third largest in the United States.
-The habitat has an area where veterinarians can provide preventive medical care as well as perform emergency procedures if needed.
-A heating system beneath the padded floor mimics sun-warmed earth of the savannah and provides additional comfort when giraffes lay down to sleep.
-Each giraffe has an individual habitat to have its own space if desired as well as one area specifically built for a mother and baby.
-The habitat has twice as much tiger space than most zoos in the country.
-The Sumatran tiger is the rarest species of tiger in the world with fewer than 500 estimated in the wild. The Zoo is one of only a dozen the nation to care for them.
-The habitat features three areas for the tigers; the large outdoor area guests can view, three indoor climate controlled rooms and a private outdoor space.
-Created with tiger comfort in mind, the rock cave and safari vehicle are heated and cooled year-round.
-The Secret Jungle is home to a one of a kind spider monkey viewing and play experience found nowhere else in the world.
-A 1,700 square foot climber gives children and adults a view of the spider monkeys from over 25 feet in the air.
-Every aspect of the habitat was built with the spider monkey’s well being and health in mind, including specially designed vines for them to swing from.
-Every 15 minutes The Secret Jungle will feature a rain storm simulating an actual rain forest.
Wild Kingdom Theater
-This state of the art theater was built to allow all new animal presentations at the Zoo.
-Will feature one of the top flighted bird and animals of prey shows in the nation.
-Animals that will be featured at the theater include; sloths, African crested porcupine and tamandua.
-Built to give guests an incredible view of the outdoor giraffe habitat.
Red Panda Conservation Center
-Features the only red panda walk over habitat outside of Japan.
-The Zoo is one of the most successful red panda breeding facilities in the country.
-Home to three specially designed habitats; including the large outdoor area guests can view, indoor climate controlled habitat and private indoor/outdoor space.
-Features indoor and outdoor viewing allowing guests to visit the red pandas year-round.
View the ribbon cutting ceremony, courtesy of KFOR News!