The Utica Zoo is currently working on quite a few projects to spruce up the zoo including a new exhibit for some of their animals.

I got the chance to talk with the Communications Coordinator for the Utica Zoo, Mike Beck about all the upgrades and projects they have started around the zoo. We actually went over to the zoo for a different reason, but we noticed some torn down areas, and a wooden skeleton of what looked like a building or barn being put up, so we decided to find out about all these works-in-progress.

The first one we looked at was the wooden skeleton. Beck says it's actually a new barn for their Transcaspian Urials. So why are they building them a new barn? Beck says,

We're actually expecting babies in the spring. Two of our females are pregnant, and I believe they can have up to two babies each...

The new barn would give the Urials a bigger place to run around in, and will also be better for the zookeepers to take care of the animals. The zoo is hoping to have the barn completed before the babies arrive.

The Utica Zoo is also adding upgrades to their "Wildlife Building." It has their offices on the top floor and an auditorium in it, but they're working on upgrading the area that holds all their educational animals (the animals you see in the Zoomobile, at birthday parties, special events and things like that). Beck tells us,

...We've already gutted-out the inside of the first floor... and taken down the outside as well. The whole outside and inside is going to be brand new. And I believe we're also going to be doing a new vet-tech area...

Beck then took us over to see another project that the Utica Zoo will be working on once those other two "works" are completed, and this is a big one. We went over by the primates area of the zoo. Mike Beck explains,

We've raised over $350,000 for our primate building, so all the bars that you see will be taken down, and a new exhibit will be built...

They are currently in the design and drafting phase of this project, but you can keep an eye out for them to "break ground" on this change to the zoo this year.

With all these changes happening and more upgrades and projects on the way, it's just one more reason why heading to the Utica Zoo this summer is a great idea. They’re open from 10am to 4:45pm (everyday, including Saturdays and Sundays). Cost is $8 for adults and $4.75 for children 3 to 12 years of age (children 2 and under get in for free). There are also discounts for seniors, military, and college students (with their ID).




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