Planning is underway for the upgrading of two popular exhibits at the Albuquerque Biological Park to be funded by a gross receipts tax passed by city voters in 2015.
The work is part of a BioPark Master Plan developed in 2014 and calling for the updating and enhancing of a wide variety of exhibits at the zoo.
That plan noted that some 1.5 million visitors come each year to the BioPark’s four facilities, which, besides the zoo, includes an aquarium, botanic garden, and Tingley Beach, and was designed to serve as a blueprint in anticipating the BioPark’s growth in the next two decades.
The master plan specifically called for creating up to five times the space for animals at the zoo to roam, as well as more shaded areas for visitors.
Since the 2015 election, work has been launched on a new $2.5 million otter exhibit and $12 million penguin exhibit. A $500,000 playground has additionally been completed.
Two additional projects in the talking stage include work on the zoo’s Asia exhibit, which will see the building of a multi-level exhibition and animal holding space, and is expected to cost $15 million to complete.
Work on the zoo’s Australian exhibit will cost $8 million and will include the upgrading of several existing structures, exhibits, and a holding area.
Opened in 1927, the 64-acre zoo become a part of the larger Bio Park in 1996.
By Garry Boulard
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