AY About You spoke with the Little Rock Zoo earlier this year, but we checked back in for updates on our favorite animals. Visitors get excited – new views and new activities are on the way.
Two species are getting a remodel on their habitats, and this update will benefit the animals, guests and staff. The colobus monkeys are getting an exhibit upgrade with more space, climbing features and a special up and over structure for guests to really experience what it would be like to see these monkeys in the wild. “They have more things to play with and be active with. Guests can see the monkeys’ natural behaviors as they climb and move around more than they would in their previous habitat,” says Susan Altrui, Little Rock Zoo director.
The serval cats are also getting some interior work done on their home. The cats can spread out, chill and continue entertaining guests with their playfun behavior. The updated habitat will also allow guests to see the cats more easily.
“We’ve been working on the exhibits for about a year. April 16 and 17 will be the grand opening of those exhibits. These new exhibits are bigger and a lot of fun for the animals, and it’ll be a better experience for the staff,” says Altrui. “The staff will be able to do more activities at the habitats where they can talk more about the animals and interact with our guests in a way that is more fun and entertaining.”
The Eastern collared lizards will make their debut soon, but we don’t yet have a date. Partnered with the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission, the University of Central Arkansas and the University of Arkansas, this will be the zoo’s first re-release program to help conserve the Arkansas collared lizard population. “We’re really looking at how we can conserve species for long-term survival, and that’s critically important for our state for the conservation of the species here locally,” says Altrui.
The little ones can get in on the conservation action, too, in other ways. Spring break is a big time for the zoo and families, and this year the zoo has set up a week full of educational fun for the aspiring explorers. “This spring break, the zoo has activities centered around all things pollinations. It’s a great way to learn about our pollinator friends and how valuable they are to our environment. Agriculture, garden, and just our everyday lives, we need pollinators. Spring is all about flowers and new life starting, so this theme will be a great way to visually represent spring and spring break,” says Altrui. “We have a scavenger hunt that will start at the beginning of spring break, educational and engaging signs that will be throughout the zoo educating guests about pollinators, and different organizations will be joining us with table events.”
For those that won’t be able to make it out the week of spring break, the zoo is continuing virtual activities and educational videos for kids and adults to get plugged into and involved at a distance. “This is a great opportunity to get behind the scenes of the zoo and to chat with some of our zookeepers, see some of our animals up close and personal and to learn more about what it takes to care for our animals.”
Find the Spring Break activity schedule here.