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"Nurture Your Love of Nature" capital campaign brings improvements and new exhibits.

BioPark Breaks Ground on New Projects

An architectural rendering of the new aviary for macaws and roadrunners. Courtesy of ABQ BioPark.

February 7, 2013

Dirt is flying at the Zoo and it's not being kicked up by zebras and warthogs. This month, construction began on the Gorilla Bachelor Pad and a new aviary, affectionately nicknamed "Fowl Play." With projected openings this summer, the exhibits are funded by the New Mexico BioPark Society's "Nurture Your Love of Nature" capital campaign. It aims to raise $10 million for new exhibits and improvements across the BioPark.

Heavy equipment can also be seen at the Aquarium and Botanic Garden, where the crews are installing a new perimeter fence and working on the Cottonwood Gallery, a garden that showcases an enhanced bosque habitat with native plants and animals. In the Aquarium, the walk-thru tank is being transformed into a teeming South Pacific Coral Reef. Funding for these projects comes from both private donors through the NM BioPark Society and public support through the City of Albuquerque.

"The BioPark team is always busy improving the facilities for the animals and for our guests," said Mayor Richard J. Berry. "In 2013, we're going to open some exciting new exhibits and take care of important maintenance, as well. Thanks to a great partnership between the City and the BioPark Society, we will continue to have a wonderful zoo, aquarium and botanic garden for Albuquerque families to enjoy."

The Gorilla Bachelor Pad adds 720 square feet of indoor space to the existing gorilla building. A viewing window allows zoo guests to watch the three adolescent males roughhouse. They'll also be able to see training sessions between the keepers and animals. Suspended hoses, tires, platforms and hammocks will make this the perfect space for play and rest.

The new "Fowl Play" aviary exhibits a variety of beautiful birds together, including hyacinth macaws, sun conures, burrowing owls and roadrunners. Under a sweeping roofline, the local favorites and bright exotics will welcome guests with loud calls, bold colors and interesting behaviors.

"The Albuquerque community has shown us tremendous support, and we are pleased to introduce new animals and exhibits," said Rick Janser, BioPark Director. "It's going to be a great year for the BioPark with lots of fun and new educational offerings."

In addition to the projects under construction, the BioPark is in the planning phase for a plastic awareness exhibit, a new Gator Swamp and an insectarium. The "Nurture Your Love of Nature" capital campaign will also fund a river otter exhibit, an expanded jaguar yard, an African bird aviary and a gateway to the bosque at Tingley Beach.

The much anticipated Penguin Chill will be the final and most expensive installment of the campaign. With penguins and polar bears side-by-side, guests will be able to experience life from both of the Earth's polar regions. While planning has begun, the penguin exhibit is still several years from completion. For updates and to contribute to the campaign, please visit www.bioparksociety.org.

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