Written By: Andrew Ketterer
Last week Kaci was able to get up close and personal with a few different animals during her private tour of the Peoria Zoo. Yvonne Strode, director at the Peoria Zoo, was able to take some time to walk Kaci through the zoo and answer a few of her questions.
Strode began by talking through the history of the zoo, specifically the 27-million dollar expansion that was completed in 2009. Strode said, “With that expansion, they brought in some of the really big animals that people love.” These animals include giraffes, rhinos and zebras, along with the lions that have always been at the zoo.
With the expansion, the Zoo began organizing the exhibits into geographic regions around the world. Along with the new Africa exhibit, visitors to the zoo have enjoyed the addition of the Australia exhibit, which allows them to walk among the animals. The Asia exhibit recently featured four tiger cubs that have grown to over 200 pounds in just a year.
The education department enjoys taking a look at where the animals sleep at night. “We spent a lot of money and care to make sure the animals have what they need,” said Strode. Although the smell of the Rhinos may be a bit overwhelming, it seems that visitors of all ages enjoy getting a peek into where the animals live at night.
Most people may think that the zoo is closed during the winter months, but they’re wrong! The Peoria Zoo remains opened from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. every day. Some of the animals can’t be outside during the colder months, but the recent renovations have included viewing windows and day rooms that allow visitors to see the animals.
Kaci’s right, “Where else can you visit Africa, Australia and Asia all in the same day?!” Next time you’re looking for something to do, check out the Peoria Zoo.
And don’t forget to tell the giraffes that Kaci sent you!