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Several new exhibits coming soon to ABQ zoo

Joy Wang
March 21, 2017 08:53 AM

Penari the male tiger made his debut Monday at the Albuquerque BioPark Zoo. The Malayan tiger is from Jacksonville zoo and has been adjusting to living in Albuquerque since February.

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Visitors at the zoo this week will notice a lot of barricades and orange cones blocking the way, but that's to make room for new and improved exhibits throughout the BioPark.

“We came here early,” said Nicholas Snowberg. “We got here 9 o'clock. I'm glad we did because we beat a lot of the crowd.”

If you want to be king at the BioPark, first know what animals you want to see and where to go.

“The animals are all out and they're putting on shows and they're active and they're hanging out, so it's a good time,” Snowberg said.

But things can get complicated once you start moving around with the gates, cones and dirt.

“A lot of construction,” Snowberg said. “The cafe was under construction over there, and they're doing some work on some of the exhibits, which is a little inconvenient. But we're happy they're reinvesting in the zoo because we really enjoy it here.”

For example, the new reptile house is a $100,000 project that just opened this weekend.
“It's like a cute little lizard,” Mariah Arrellano said.

The jaguar exhibit opened early this month.

“Having the resources of people, time and the dollars are allowing us to make positive results,” said James T. Allen, the Albuquerque BioPark chief executive. “Over 1.5 million guests come to the BioPark.”

Come next spring, visitors will be able to chill with the penguins too.

“They're unique around here,” Snowberg said. “We don't see penguins very often. They're very cool animals.”
Just like Penari the tiger, they’re about to call Albuquerque home.

“Penari's been doing great. He's really calm,” said Lynn Tupa, the Albuquerque BioPark manager. “The staff already loves him, and we are thrilled that the Jacksonville Zoo was willing to send us one of their favorite tigers to us.”

A number of new projects at the zoo are funded by a gross receipts tax passed in 2015. It's expected to bring in $15 million a year over 15 years.

Credits

Joy Wang

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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