Zoo Opens Saturday - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Zoo Opens Saturday

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The Roosevelt Park Zoo officially opens its gates tomorrow morning for the summer season.

Melinda Bolton has more on the story...

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Meet, Viktor. Just shy of his third birthday, he weighs 450 lbs, and has come to Minot from Toledo, Ohio."

(Becky Zahn Walcker, Head Keeper, Roosevelt Park Zoo) "Tigers are the largest cat species. Many people think it's lions. But it is not. It is the Amur Tiger. And the males can get up to 600-650, so he's got some growing to do."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Zahn Walcker says one of the reasons they opted for an Amur tiger because they adapt much better to climates like Minot's. After a thirty day quarantine Viktor is making himself at home."

(Becky Zahn Walcker, Head Keeper, Roosevelt Park Zoo) "Once he was outside -- he seemed to within a couple weeks -- seemed to find his comfort zone. He's pretty happy, you know, pretty active . You know, you're seeing a lot of normal behaviors of tigers. So that's really a positive sign."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Viktor isn't the only change to the Zoo.

Zoo VeterinarianAnn Olson says, all at the same time, the zoo is recovering, reconstructing and making new improvements."

(Ann Olson, Roosevelt Park Zoo Veterinarian) "We are excited to open on Saturday but the public will kind of have to pardon our dust because we are working to build a better zoo for the community."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "But that is just the beginning, improvements will continue throughout the summer season finishing just in time to close up for winter."

(Ann Olson, Roosevelt Park Zoo Veterinarian) "The former otter exhibit, which will be again at the end of the summer. They just started working on it a couple of weeks ago. There's also a sewer project going on throughout the middle of the zoo. And we are working on the penguin exhibit as well. Besides that the aviary, which is our old education building and original zoo building. Will be turning into an aviary and we're hoping for a completion date at the end of summer for that as well."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "Additionally Olson says that the staff may have specific titles, but they all do a lot."

(Ann Olson, Roosevelt Park Zoo Veterinarian) "We couldn't do it without the staff, the community support, and the zoo looks just wonderful right now, even better than it did a year ago. So with all of the construction, it may be a little bit of a headache."

(Melinda Bolton, Reporter) "You can check out everything going on when the zoo opens tomorrow morning at 10 am. In Minot, Melinda Bolton, KX News."

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