ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the end of the school year and the weather heats up, families will start flocking to the zoo. However, they’ll see a lot of construction going on.
“The zoo is probably one of the best attractions and family experiences we have here in Albuquerque. We’re lucky to have such a great zoo, and I’m glad they’re investing in it and expanding it,” said BioPark visitor, J.D. Sheets.
The construction is everywhere as crews try to get the Asia exhibit done by the fall. The long-range goal is to separate all the animals by continent.
The first phase of the Asia area is already done. That’s the overlook deck for guests to watch the elephants.
The second phase creates new homes for tigers, sea eagles, snow leopards, siamangs, and orangutans. The area spans about 4.5 acres. It gives animals opportunities to play, swing, climb, and move about more freely. Even taking turns moving about exhibits, providing them with new experiences and new scents.
“This is going to be like a sensory explosion for the animals. They are going to be able to see 360 degrees around them. They are going to be able to swing through branches and sit up in hammocks, all the things that they would be doing in the wild,” said a zoo official at the April 7 media tour of the exhibit.
For guests, the project is creating a different way to experience the zoo. There are four overhead bridges to see animals more closely. Guests will feel like they are walking through a tropical forest, Himalayan highlands, and a rocky coast.
New bathrooms, food stations, and kiosks are also under construction. The elephant overlook deck will be closed until later this year because of all the construction around it.
The Asia exhibit will cost $30 million and it is funded by the city’s 1/8 cent Gross Receipts BioPark tax. The Australia exhibit is also under construction. No timeline yet on when that will be done.