Woodland Park Zoo to re-open Night Exhibit in 2018

SEATTLE, 2016-Jan-26 — /Travel PR News/ — Woodland Park Zoo is planning to re-open a new and renovated Night Exhibit in two years, bringing back a gallery of exhibits with nocturnal animals—animals that are primarily active during the night.

The zoo closed the doors to the popular exhibit of nature’s night shift in the wake of the 2009 recession. The building, which is expensive to operate, was closed in 2010 as one of several steps taken to address revenue shortages during the recession.

“From the beginning, we heard from members, guests and other members of the community that we should look for a way to re-open the exhibit,” said Bruce Bohmke, Woodland Park Zoo’s acting president and CEO.

“Now, in a better economic climate, and the ability to use funds from the city of Seattle’s Parks Levy, we are very pleased to be able to respond,” said Bohmke.

Like the operation of the zoo, itself, the renovated Night Exhibit will be financed as a publicprivate partnership, using funds available for major repairs from the Seattle Park District, along with private philanthropy. Total cost of the renovations is expected to be $3 million to $4 million. Preliminary design of the renovated building will begin this spring, and substantial renovations and technology changes will make the building more cost efficient and engaging. Preliminary features being considered are a night vision station and digital signage.

Approved by voters in 2014, the Seattle Park District provides more than $47 million a year in long-term funding for Seattle Parks and Recreation including maintenance of parklands and facilities, including major maintenance at the zoo and aquarium; operation of community centers and recreation programs; and development of new neighborhood parks on previously acquired sites.

While a formal fundraising campaign has yet to begin, the zoo has received a substantial early gift from The Nysether Family Foundation, which in the past has helped build several capital projects at Woodland Park Zoo, including most recently Banyan Wilds and the Historic Carousel pavilion.

When the Night Exhibit closed six years ago, some animals were moved to other zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, and others remained on exhibit elsewhere at the zoo.

Like the original Night Exhibit, the renovated exhibit will reverse its light cycle during the day to accommodate nocturnal animals, which may include fruit bats, sloths, small arboreal primates and other small animals. “Our goal is to create a nocturnal and sensory experience that invites visitors of all ages to see, hear and connect with wildlife in a whole new light,” said Bohmke.

Accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, award-winning Woodland Park Zoo is famed for pioneering naturalistic exhibits and setting international standards for zoos in animal care, conservation and education programs. Woodland Park Zoo is helping to save animals and their habitats in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. By inspiring people Page 2 to care and act, Woodland Park Zoo is making a difference in our planet’s future. For more information, visit www.zoo.org.

Media contact: Gigi Allianic, Alissa Wolken 206.548.2550 | woodlandparkzoopr@zoo.org