Zoo Additions Continue - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Zoo Additions Continue

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'The zoo is back, 100 percent.'

That's according to Roosevelt Park Zoo Director David Merritt today --- now that the giraffes and big cats are back.

Merritt says a zoo is always changing, but he says with confidence, Minot once again has a zoo we can be proud of.

The early season numbers are lower, but that could also have to do with the rain.

(David Merritt, Roosevelt Park Zoo Director) "The first several weeks we were open, as everybody knows, we were a little skimpy. But I feel we have a very good show right now. We're relatively complete. There will still be some new things as popping up as the summer progresses but we have a good full zoo right now."

You may remember the male and female pair of giraffes --- they spent the two years since the flood in Kansas - they're back stretching their legs.

The big cats were out taking in the sun today as well.

The lion pair and one Siberian Tiger were here before the flood.

Merritt says it's been fun watching them recognize their surroundings.

There are two new members of the big cat exhibit: an Amur Leapord from South Carolina and a Snow Leopard on lone from Kansas.

Merritt says the leopards tend to be more 'shy' than the other big cats, but they're warming up to their new home.

(David Merritt, Roosevelt Park Zoo Director) "I sense a relief that the zoo is back. I think it's sort of a symbolic thing. It's nice to have the zoo back. But it's also symbolic in that, we're getting past this flood thing."

The otters and the penguins are still missing.

Merritt says they'll be back in 2014 due to the complexity of those two habitat repairs.

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