COURT HOUSE – Spring always brings changes to the Cape May County Zoo and this year visitors will not only see babies and new animals but also exciting infrastructure improvements and upgraded habitats. The World of Birds Aviary will be closing its doors and plans are underway to decommission the building and bring exciting new changes to the Zoo.
The Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in the County attracting tens of thousands of visitors each year. Keeping up with the high volume of visitor traffic, the influx of new animals, and habitat improvements involve a lot of innovation, planning, and work. New technology, design features, and construction materials have increased safety for the staff and animals and will be incorporated into the new projects.
The County is updating the Zoo Master Plan which will include new exhibits, parking lot expansion, signage, and other enhancements to improve the visitor experience and stay ahead of the curve by offering visitors new and improved attractions while updating aging habitats. The World of Birds Aviary will be one of many improvements at the Zoo that will provide enhanced animal encounters and improved viewing options.
“Unfortunately, 25 years of a tropical habitat has taken its toll on the building and necessary maintenance and upgrades have become unsustainable. While the closure of this exhibit was a difficult decision, we look forward to the future when we can bring new and upgraded habitats to our visitors. The Zoo staff will be working diligently over the coming months to find new homes for our birds at Zoo”, reported Dr. Alexander Ernst, Associate Veterinarian.
The World of Birds aviary opened in May 1998 and operated as a year-round exhibit for 25 years, housing as many as 30 species of birds at one time. It is now one of the least visited attractions at the Zoo and in need of replacement. The planned Zoo improvements will update and repurpose some of the exhibits and allow the staff to better care for the needs, and safety of the animals.
“We look forward to the Zoo improvements and enhancements that will make it safer and better for animals, staff, and visitors. Be assured that while the aviary is closed to the public, the Zoo staff will continue to care for the birds until they are moved to their new homes. We ask our visitors to please bear with us as the process of removing the World of Birds Aviary and the construction of new habitats will create some inconvenience and will be a long and extensive process. Join us as we bid farewell to an old friend but look forward to a bright future”, said Commissioner Andrew Bulakowski, liaison to the Parks and Zoo.
The Cape May County Parks and Zoo are open daily and is free to the public. The Zoo is open from 10 am until 4:30 pm and the Parks are open from 7 am until dusk. For more information on the Cape May County Parks and Zoo go to www.cmczoo.com
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