The Akron Zoo has announced an opening date for their newest exhibit.
David Barnhardt, Director of Marketing & Guest Services for the Akron Zoo tells AkronNewsNow.com this is an exciting venture for the zoo and its patrons.
"The exhibit will open on July 20 of 2013 and, so people will expect to see a lot of exciting things when it opens," Barnhardt said.
The Mike & Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge will be one of the largest openings in the zoo's history including not only grizzly bears, but red wolves, coyotes, and bald eagles.
Barnhardt says the zoo had grizzlies before, just not for a number of years.
He says the new exhibit will be located on the hillside of the zoo over by the Conservation Carousel and extends to the Farmland Exhibit
The exhibit will bear the names of two of the biggest supporters of the zoo, Mike and Mary Stark.
The Akron Zoo now has an opening date for their newest addition. Mike & Mary Stark Grizzly Ridge exhibit will open to the public on July 20, 2013. Grizzly Ridge will be one of the largest openings in the zoo’s 60 year history and will include over six different animal species, highlighted by grizzly bears.
In addition to grizzly bears, Grizzly Ridge will include some animals never seen before at the Akron Zoo including red wolves and coyotes. River otters and bald eagles, which were previously at the zoo, will make their return with brand new exhibits. The space will also include a walk-in aviary with native Ohio birds.
The zoo will incorporate some state-of-the art experiences in the new exhibit space. The grizzly bear exhibit will include a training wall which will enable people to get a behind-the-scenes sneak peak at how the keepers facilitate training a grizzly bear. A fully enclosed slide will be built that runs through the otter pool and kids will have the chance to slide through with otters swimming around them.
The exhibit will bear the names Mike and Mary Stark, after two of the zoo’s most ardent supporters and friends. Mike has been a zoo board member since 1994 and is the past Chairman of the Board.
The new exhibit will be nestled on the hillside of the zoo near the Conservation Carousel and extends up to the Farmland Exhibit. The area previously was home to Monkey Island, otters, waterfowl, tortoises, and bald eagles and the old bear exhibit that was not operable anymore and was built in 1918.