MILL MOUNTAIN ZOO SUMMER 2017 NEWSLETTER
Greetings Friends and Members of Mill Mountain Zoo!
We are pleased to bring you the summer 2017 newsletter to share with you the exciting developments at the Zoo.
On July 4, we celebrated the 65th anniversary of the dedication and opening of the Zoo. As a part of our efforts to be a good civic partner, we offered free Zoo admission to members of the military, first responders, firefighters and police officers. We celebrated with birthday cake for our animals and human guests, animal-watching, educational experiences, and children’s activities throughout the day. As part of our on-going anniversary celebration, we also sold family memberships at our anniversary promotional price of $65.
We are pleased to share with you exciting news of additions to our Zoo. In March 2017, we celebrated the birth of two Pallas cat kittens, Batbayar (male) and Norbu (female). On May 12, we hosted a baby shower and naming contest for the kittens. Norbu means “jewel” in Tibetan. Pallas cats are exhibited by seventeen zoos, which work cooperatively with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for this species. Pallas cats are native to central Asia and are listed by the International Union for Conversation of Nature (IUCN) as Near Threatened. Come visit Batbayar and Norbu in their exhibit at the ZooChoo station!
Katia the raccoon has also joined us in a renovated exhibit at the front of the Zoo. Although she took some time to adjust to her new quarters, Katia is delighting guests with her playful antics. Our Zoo family is growing and we look forward to welcoming more animals in the coming months.
As part of our on-going Virginia Wild concept, the Zoo continues the process of planning, designing, and breaking ground on other new exhibits, including heritage turkey, bald eagle, and North American river otter exhibits. We have completed the survey and design phase of the North American river otter exhibit. This new exhibit will be a multi-level water feature exhibit, located at the front of the Zoo. Currently, CAD drawings are being completed by a design firm with experience in similar zoo exhibits. The proposed North American river otter exhibit will also meet AZA standards. We are very pleased and grateful to announce that the Zoo is the 2017 recipient of generous grant funding from the Sam and Marion Golden Foundation; this funding is designated for a renovated children’s play area adjacent to the new otter exhibit. We will begin work on the Adventure Play area in fall 2017.
Renovations and updates to the Conservation Station are complete. This Station serves as the hub of the Zoo’s education programs. The Zoo’s education staff has welcomed approximately one hundred children for the various summer camps, Breakfast with the Animals, and other educational programs this summer. We hosted nearly one thousand elementary school students for field trips during the spring.
Finally, mark your calendars for Brew at the Zoo on August 19th, and the next date in our Acoustic Fridays series, August 25th. Join us for great music and libations in one of the most beautiful settings in Roanoke.
Stay tuned for news about our plans for new exhibits promoting wildlife native to the Blue Ridge. Thank you for your continued support of Mill Mountain Zoo. We look forward to seeing you on the mountain soon!