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BioPark Re-Opens Sunday After Storm Clean-Up

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Zoo Animals Benefiting from Fresh Browse

BioPark Re-Opens Sunday After Storm Clean-Up

Crews cleaned up fallen limbs and trees on Zoo Park today.

July 27, 2013

The ABQ BioPark Zoo, Aquarium and Botanic Garden are all open for business again, starting Sunday, July 28 at 9 a.m. The trains will not be running, and some areas of the Garden may be flagged off. The BioPark was hit hard by Friday night’s storm, but all the facilities are in good shape after power was restored and crews cut up downed trees and cleaned up debris.

Storm clean-up is almost complete due to the hard work of a team that included BioPark horticulture, maintenance, animal keepers, visitor services, leadership and other employees, along with Mayor Richard J. Berry; Cultural Services Director Beatriz Rivera; and crews from Service Systems Associates, the BioPark’s food service vendor; Facility Build, the company currently building several zoo exhibits; and the New Mexico BioPark Society.

The storm moved in just before the music was scheduled to begin at Friday night’s Zoo Music Concert. When BioPark staff saw that it wasn’t Albuquerque’s usual passing shower, they implemented their evacuation plan. Many guests had to leave chairs and coolers behind as they moved under cover. Lost items from Friday night’s concert can be claimed at Zoo Administration starting Sunday—please bring a list of lost items and Zoo staff will assist in finding them.

“Everybody reacted exactly how we’ve been trained when the emergency response plan was implemented. We were able to get people to safe areas and work with rescue to treat those with minor injuries,” said Rick Janser, BioPark Director. “Thanks to fast-thinking staff Friday night and everyone’s hard work today, it all turned out okay. We avoided major injuries, ensured the safety of the animals at both the Zoo and Aquarium, moved a lot of brush and ended up with some cool enrichment for the animals.”

Many of the logs and branches are being used for animal enrichment and food. Branches and leaves will go to giraffes, primates, kangaroos, elephants and birds. The large logs will go into the elephant exhibit, where the pachyderms will push them around and strip off the bark. The remaining debris has been shredded for mulching at Tingley Beach.

See more pictures of the storm damage and clean-up on Facebook.

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