COAL VALLEY, Ill (KWQC)- Niabi Zoo will open its doors for the 2016 season on Monday at 10 a.m.
The zoo has added a few new animals and exhibits for 2016.
The former bird enclosure now houses a variety of animals including meerkats, which are new for 2016.
Their arrival has been anticipated for nearly a year, and this season the meerkats along with the amur leopard join Niabi as part of the zoo’s newest initiative.
The species survival plan helps endangered animals nationwide.
“If something happens in the next twenty or thirty years, and the animal goes extinct, we still have animals here that we can hopefully reintroduce out into the wild,” said Jill Roderick, Curator of Education at the zoo.
But, Niabi has lost a few animals over the last year, including two giraffes and a jaguar.
Niabi is also looking for a new zoo director after theirs resigned last September.