COAL VALLEY, Ill. (KWQC) – You know it’s almost spring when the zoo gets ready to open.
Niabi Zoo has announced that it will open its gates for the 2015 season on Mon., March 23. The zoo, which has been closed for the winter since the end of October 2014, will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. In a news release, officials said as a way to welcome the community back to the zoo, admission will be free until March 27.
Meanwhile, Zoo Director Marc Heinzman says they are finishing up several new construction projects, including a new koi pond pavilion and a major renovation of part of the bird building, which will also be the future home of meerkats, a new species to Niabi Zoo. A special announcement will be made in the future when the meerkats arrive and are ready for public viewing.
Also new at the zoo, a baby giraffe that was born on February 10, 2015. Heinzman says after a quiet winter, the male giraffe won’t be available to public viewing until he has time to adjust to visitors.