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Changes at the zoo next year

November 4th, 2008 · Comments

Woodland Park Zoo has released its 2009 Draft Plan concerning all operations of the zoo for next year, including animal acquisitions, a new concessions company, and major construction and parking changes.

The Public Comment Period runs today through midnight of Dec. 4, 2008. You can email your comments, snail mail (WPZ Annual Plan, 601 N. 59th St., Seattle, WA 98103) or deliver in person to the zoo’s administrative offices, Reception Trailer #1, at 601 N. 59th St.

The Draft Plan is available on the zoo’s website, but here it is in a nutshell:

The new Humboldt penguin exhibit will be the biggest change to the exhibits area, and the zoo will add a number of new animals, including: a female giraffe; female zebra; the highly endangered Steller’s sea eagle; breeding pairs of sloth bears and red pandas; a new lowland gorilla; a colony of six Island flying foxes; a male Matschie’s tree kangaroo; a pair of African pygmy geese; fairy bluebirds; and a pair of blue-faced honeyeaters. The zoo also plans to import two pairs of laughing kookaburras and a pair of tawny frogmouths for breeding from the Taronga Zoo in Australia.

The zoo plans to beef up its educational offerings, both at the zoo and at remote sites. They’re also changing their food concession contract, which should result in more variety.

The biggest change/potential hassle is the construction on the new west entry, which is expected to begin in the spring and last until summer 2010. The new entry will consolidate the current north and west entries and provide new ticketing procedures to reduce waiting times. The entry will include restrooms, guest services, stroller and wheelchair rental and a store.

On the revenue side, the zoo is thinking about expanding the number of ZooTunes concerts, and will raise admission prices to $16.50 for adults and $11 for children in the 2009 summer season, beginning May 1. (Up from the current $15 for adults and $10 for children.) Lower fall/winter rates will be $11 for adults and $8 for children. Seniors still get $2 off year-round.

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