Spring Newsletter

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Greetings Friends and Members of Mill Mountain Zoo!

We are pleased to bring you the spring 2017 newsletter to share with you the many exciting developments happening at the Zoo.

In 2017, we are celebrating the Zoo’s 65th anniversary! The Zoo is offering family memberships for $65 during the months of March and April to promote the celebration of 65 years in the Roanoke Valley. As part of this celebration of this milestone anniversary and the Virginia Wild concept, the Zoo is planning, designing and breaking ground on new exhibits, including raccoon, heritage turkey, Bald eagle, and River otter exhibits. To that end, the Zoo has received some significant donations from local philanthropists and is continuing fund-raising efforts for the new exhibits, all designed to grow the Zoo and further our mission of animal conservation and education. We anticipate that the raccoon exhibit will be on-line and open to the public in late spring and the Old Mill exhibit in early summer. The River otter exhibit construction will be a significant undertaking; we hope to break ground in early summer 2017.

In other animal news, we are pleased to announce the birth of three Pallas’ kittens at the Zoo! The 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. The addition of these three kittens will contribute to the captive population of Pallas’ cats (33). Our aviary collection has returned to its exhibit as the weather warms up for spring. And, if you haven’t met Eli and Mia, the Red foxes who joined us last fall, be sure to check them out on your next visit.

Our guests can once again ride the beloved ZooChoo! The staff has been hard at work repairing the train tracks and completing winter maintenance on the Zoo Choo. The Zoo Choo is now operating Friday through Sunday; it will return to a regular schedule at the beginning of summer. Many thanks to the Roanoke City Sheriff’s office, whose trustees assisted us with track repairs.

The staff has also undertaken maintenance projects to update signs and educational information around the Zoo. Students from the Community High School graciously loaned their time and talents to give the restrooms a bright, cheerful facelift with murals.

The Zoo hosted Spring Fling on Saturday, March 25th. As a way to thank the community for its ongoing support, and to showcase some of the developments at the Zoo, we offered free admission to the Zoo all day during Spring Fling. Almost 3.000 members of the local community and surrounding counties enjoyed a day of animal-watching, educational experiences, face-painting, and refreshments.

The Zoo’s education staff and animal keepers will be offering a host of family-friendly activities this spring, including camps for kids during spring break, summer camps, and Breakfast with the Animals. The first Breakfast with the Animals is scheduled for Saturday, May 20. Please continue to check our website and social media pages for dates and times of these activities, or call the Zoo. The Zoo staff is also putting the finishing touches on a new Conservation Station to further enhance educational opportunities for our patrons on grounds. The Zoo will also host dozens of local elementary school groups who are scheduled to visit the Zoo for field trips. For those who can’t visit the animals, the education staff will take animals to the students. During April and May, the education staff will travel to area schools for presentations with the education animals.

Stay tuned for news of more events to commemorate the Zoo’s 65th anniversary. Thank you for your continued support of Mill Mountain Zoo. We look forward to seeing you on the mountain soon!

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