We are delighted to share great news on the progress of the zoo’s capital campaign and the new exhibit and to introduce you to the three African painted dogs that will join the Pueblo Zoo in June.
About the Campaign
About a year ago, we announced to members and supporters the revival of our capital campaign begun in 2010 to bring a new exhibit to the Pueblo community. Since then we have been putting all the pieces in place to construct a new facility to welcome African painted dogs and DeBrazza’s monkeys and to provide warm-weather outdoor habitats for our meerkats and African crested porcupines.
With a total cost of more than $1.6 million, we have been completing large portions of the projects as funds have become available:
• Summer 2012: completed new concessions, restrooms and picnic area
• Summer 2015: projected completion of new exhibit for African dogs, meerkats and porcupines
• Summer 2016: projected completion of new DeBrazza’s monkey exhibit
We are incredibly close to having the funding in place to complete the African dog and smaller exhibits, but still need help from the public to raise the remaining $13,902.
We have the general construction funding in hand, but need to raise the additional funds to round out the total needed for the caging and netting which is critical to the safe containment of the animals and the overall completion of the exhibit. Once that goal is achieved, the quest continues to raise the remaining $282,000 needed to complete the monkey exhibit and to bring them to Pueblo in 2016.
About the Exhibit
As those of you who have recently visited the zoo or driven through City Park know, we are well underway with our construction for the African dog exhibit. We are proud to be working with local contractor, Acorn Construction, and a long list of local subcontractors to complete the exhibit, on schedule, for a June 2015 opening.
About the Dogs
While we are incredibly excited about the narrowing fundraising gap and the tremendous progress at the construction site, we are delighted to announce that the Pueblo Zoo has been approved as the new home for three male, three-year-old African painted dogs. This band of brothers was born November 26, 2010 at the Brookfield Zoo (Chicago, IL) and currently resides at the Topeka Zoo. Topeka area students were given the opportunity to select the dogs’ names which are descriptive of the unique behavioral and physical characteristics of this fascinating species: Kipaku (Swahili) means patch, speck or spot of color; Minzi (Swahili) means defender or protector; and Hunter…well that one is pretty obvious!
Imagine strolling through the zoo and coming face-to-face with one of the most endangered predators on the planet. Long and lanky and build for speed with huge ears for hearing, the African painted dog is the ultimate hunting machine! As you visit the new exhibit you will see Minzi, Kipaku and Hunter actively exploring their new habitat and you’ll have to work hard to identify their individually unique markings so that you can tell them apart…and we’re sure you’ll be back for more as these animals are inspiring to behold.
We hope you are as excited as we are about the progress of the exhibit and about welcoming the three brothers to Pueblo in June. Please stop by to see the construction activity…and don’t hesitate to stop any staff member or volunteer to ask for the latest updates. We are happy to share our excitement!
Thank you for your support…we couldn’t do this without you!