Zoo to reopen after two weeks of renovations
Greenville, S.C., Feb. 11, 2015 – The Greenville Zoo announced today its plans to unveil a redesigned South American Aviary Exhibit on Saturday and renovate the former Elephant Exhibit into a new South American Mixed-Species Exhibit that is scheduled to open this summer. The exhibits are the first to be constructed since 2008.
“This is an incredible opportunity for the zoo to showcase a variety of South American species,” said Greenville Zoo Director Jeff Bullock. “We researched and selected exhibits that we strongly felt the community would enjoy and would also continue our education and conservation efforts.”
The South American Aviary Exhibit was a joint project between the zoo and Leadership Greenville Class 40. The redesigned exhibit features a larger footprint for its aviary collection with an expanded height of 16 feet. The exhibit’s occupants will include eight different species of vibrantly colored birds, and the zoo will continue to add to the collection this spring and summer. The Leadership Greenville Class will hold a public dedication for the exhibit on Saturday, February 14 at 10:30 a.m.
According to Reece Lyerly, a Leadership Greenville Class 40 graduate, the group raised $18,000 to help fund the project. "I am very proud of what this team was able to accomplish," said Lyerly. "The South American Aviary Exhibit gives zoo guests an appreciation of birds. They will be able to learn more about the backgrounds of birds and their habitats."
The South American Mixed-Species Exhibit will utilize the same space as the former Elephant Exhibit and Conservation Plaza. The exhibit will feature giant anteaters, rheas, large flightless birds that are similar in appearance to the ostrich, and mara, large South American rodents. In addition, the exhibit will be constructed using plants and grasses native to this South American region. Zoo
guests will have the opportunity for up-close-and-personal views of the enclosure from a deck overlooking the exhibit.
The project was funded in part through the sale of individual spaces for a new digital mosaic that will be displayed within the exhibit. The digital mosaic will be crafted from over 1,000 individual pieces of artwork and will honor the zoo’s late elephants. Spaces are still available and can be purchased online at greenvillezoo.com for $25 for zoo members and $30 for non-members, which includes shipping. Purchases also can be made at the zoo for $20.
In addition to the renovation of exhibit space, the zoo used its two-week closure to make scheduled improvements. Two new shade structures were added to the Giraffe Exhibit to provide a break from the summer heat. A new outdoor classroom was created to provide education staff with an opportunity to immerse students in a natural setting for classes pertaining to plants and animals of the Upstate. The zoo also constructed a new Nature’s Nook play area located just past the South American Aviary Exhibit that features unstructured play activities for young children. The enclosed area will provide simple tools and objects for children to creatively use. The Nature’s Nook was made possible through a grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA).
ABOUT GREENVILLE ZOO Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), the Greenville Zoo is rated one of the best tourist attractions in South Carolina, attracting almost 300,000 people annually. Operated by the City of Greenville, the 14-acre facility features wildlife from around the world, including orangutans, giraffes, monkeys and giant tortoises. Visitors can also enjoy one of the zoo’s most popular exhibits, the Reptile Building, which is home to a variety of lizards, frogs, turtles and snakes. For more information about the Greenville Zoo, visit greenvillezoo.com or follow the zoo at facebook.com/greenvillezoo.