Jacksonville, FL — Just in time for the long Labor Day weekend-- the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is announcing the grand opening of their African Forest exhibit.
This exhibit is a complete re-design of the zoo's former Great Ape Loop, which was closed in July 2017 for the $9 million transformation.
The zoo says the African Forest will be home to gorillas, bonobos, lemurs, mandrills, and colobus monkeys. At the heart of the new habitat, the zoo says there will be a 50-foot-tall, replica Kapok tree for all of the great apes to enjoy. The exhibit also features an elevated trail system, allowing access to that tree.
"Everyone who has been following the progress knows-- this is not like any zoo exhibit they have ever seen before. It's going to be an incredible experience for the animals who live there and for our guests who come to see it," says Tony Vecchio, the Jacksonville Zoo and Garden's Executive Director.
In honor of the grand opening, the zoo is holding special activities beginning Friday and through Labor Day.
Those activities include a celebration of African culture, with traditional storytelling, music, dance, and performances. There will also be keeper chats and animal encounters given through the day to help guests learn more about the animals and the design of this new exhibit.