New home for Zoo’s prairie dogs unveiled Friday

New home for Zoo’s prairie dogs unveiled Friday

By Rick Tomlin - Interim Comm. & Media Relations Mgr. - City of Abilene

 

 

 

ABILENE, TX. – The colony of prairie dogs at the Abilene Zoo have moved into a new home. Thanks to a generous donation and the efforts of zoo employees the new exhibit, previously known as the turtle pool, has been transformed into the new prairie dog habitat. “The staff did a great job transforming the old turtle pool into a very nice home for our six prairie dogs” said Zoo Director Bill Gersonde. “They took a 40 year old exhibit and gave it a fresh look.” {{more}}The new exhibit not only includes dozens of cubic yards of fresh dirt for the prairie dogs but a new bench and pergola where zoo visitors can enjoy the prairie dogs from a shaded location. The project was funded by a generous donation from Julie and Buddy Napier. The zoo also welcomes a new attraction. A life-sized bronze sculpture of a prairie dog, created by Santa Fe , New Mexico Artist Stephanie Huerta, sits prominently on a stone in the public area for zoo visitors to enjoy. The turtles that were formerly housed in the exhibit were relocated to the new Elm Creek Backyard exhibit last summer. Zoo staff determined last fall that the old prairie dog exhibit was no longer structurally secure to hold the animals so the prairie dogs were taken off exhibit for the winter. “It made perfect sense to use the old turtle pool for the prairie dogs” said Gersonde. The media is invited to see the new exhibit when it opens to the public Friday, March 18 at 9 am. Please meet at the front gate.