Started in 1926 by Spencer Penrose, the local zoo brings great pride to residents of Colorado Springs Colorado homes. Officials recently from Cheyenne Mountain Zoo announced that fundraising is complete for the next addition: Encounter Africa. When complete in 2013, Encounter Africa will offer visitors to real estate in Colorado Springs a much closer look at wildlife in a spectacular habitat. A half million people annually.
The zoo in Colorado Springs houses a huge new elephant barn with plenty of space for training. When the adjacent construction is complete, visitors will be able to easily photograph four lovable resident elephants. Construction of new homes for the African lions and black rhinos is beginning, too. The endangered black rhinoceroses will have mud wallows and a shallow pool. African lions bask in the sun while lying on their heated rocks through upper and lower viewing areas.
At a cost of $13.5 million, the Encounter Africa exhibit is the largest capital improvement project in the zoo’s history. Ensconced about with four life-size sculptures of African elephants, the exhibit features a new plaza with a traditional African tent for educational programs and events.
In 1916 Spencer Penrose received a special gift: a bear. After acquiring the site of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, he relocated the bear and other animals from his ranch and the Broadmoor Hotel to the property about 10 years later. He built the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun, a miniature railroad from the zoo up to the shrine, and brought in a carousel from the Chicago World’s Fair to embellish the project. Then he connected his Broadmoor Hotel to the attractions within narrow gauge cog train.
By 1942, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo housed monkeys and a decade later welcomed giraffes. A new bird and reptile house filled quickly in 1956 and in 1960 the facility gained and aquatics building. Unfortunately, during the 1965 flood, water roared down the mountain and destroyed a new primate building. Primate World was rebuilt the next year. Ten years later, the Birds of Prey area opened.
Over time Cheyenne Mountain Zoo added the thunder God gift shop and restaurant, a new entry plaza, and Conservation Center for breeding programs. Exciting features such as the Electric Safari, the Wild Nights Train, Party Pavilion and Safari Cabin in the Amphibian Rescue Project Partnership were continually being added to the zoo.
Year by year animal life increased. Naked Mole Rats, Hidden Prairie Hummingbird Garden, Wolves, Warthogs and Aardvarks, Butterflies, Lions, White Tigers, White Alligators, Giant Fruit Bats, and many more species joined Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Check out the zoo’s website at www.cszoo.org
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