Buttonwood Park Zoo and the Zoological Society announce the first new exhibit for the Zoo in 20 years – Rainforests, Rivers and Reefs.
The new exhibit, which is part of the Zoo’s extensive expansion project and is scheduled to open in July, will house monkeys, birds, turtles and tortoises, lizards, and amazonian fish, among other species,some of which are endangered.
“We wanted to make complex stimulating environments where all the animals are living together,” Buttonwood Park Zoo Director Keith Lovett said.
There will also be a reef element to the exhibit. Indo Pacific corals will co-exist with octopus, jellyfish and seahorses from the North Atlantic Ocean. Charitable foundation Stoico/FIRSTFED funded the renovation with a $400,000 donation – the largest gift the Zoological Society has ever received.
15 year master plan
The Zoo’s 15 year master plan is focused on four key components.
First is the development of the Zoo to enable more work on the conservation of threatened and endangered species. Next is to build facilities that will allow the expansion of the Zoo’s environmental education programs. The third objective is to create experiences that will appeal to a wider section of the community, and the fourth is for the plan to be realistic and cost effective to build and maintain.
The $22-25 million master plan does not involve expanding the Zoo’s footprint into Buttonwood Park.
“This is one of the oldest zoos in America,” Mayor Jon Mitchell said. “It’s had its good days and bad days in the past. But I think right now, there is no doubt this place is on the rise.”
Image credit: Buttonwood Park Zoo