Welcome to the first episode of "The Zoo's News." This week's video is all about the progress made to some of the upgrades and features being added to the Utica Zoo.

Communications Coordinator of the Utica Zoo Mike Beck, joined us at the zoo to show us how far they've come on the Sinnott Educational Center. Last time we were at the zoo asking about the upgrades and new features (back in April), there wasn't anything there. The spot had been marked off and some pieces had been torn down, but it didn't look anything like this (which "this" you can see in the video at the top of this page).

The Sinnott Educational Center houses all their educational animals, the same animals you'll see at birthday parties, from the Zoomobile, and other "on location" events. These animals can be touched and interacted with. The new upgrades to the building include the "First Source, First Look" which are windows where you can walk by and actually see these animals while they're resting from all their parties, educational tours, and adventures.

The upgrades to the Sinnott Educational Center will also give the animals it houses more space. And they're hoping with more space, they'll also be able to acquire new animals. In the video (above) Mike Beck says maybe armadillos and sloths (for example), and they hope to expand their educational collection.

The building is in "phase one" of the project, as they're working on the outside. Inside will be another phase of the project, and a secondary building will be for training. All this will be another feature the public will be able to see, and participate in some of the activities that will be available.

So when will this big project be finished? Well, Mike Beck says they're working pretty fast on it. Unfortunately, weather plays a huge part in how much they can get done, and we've had quite a rainy summer. But Beck does say "as soon as possible."

But that's not the only thing that's changed at the Utica Zoo. The zoo has added a "Zebra Viewing Pavilion," which is the perfect hangout for those planning birthday parties, family reunions, work picnics, or any other gatherings.

The zoo has also done some repaving work near the bathrooms. Before the slope towards the bathrooms (and that area of the walkway) was a little steep. That made it difficult for those with strollers and wheelchairs. The area has been repaved and at a different angle to make things easier for visitors. Yep, there are a lot of changes, upgrades, and added features happening at the Utica Zoo. We'll keep you posted on the progress of these projects and others as they continue to move along.

If you have any questions about the Utica Zoo, the animals at the zoo (or just on animals in general), you can submit a question at the link below. Who knows?! It may be featured on an upcoming segment of "The Zoo's News."




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