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Zoological Society Launches Zoo Improvement Awareness

The El Paso Zoo has undergone some major renovations in recent years. The newest addition of the African exhibit was paid for with funds from the 2000 quality of life bond election.

With the possibility of another quality of life election being held later this year, the El Paso Zoological Society is working on making the community aware of more improvements needed at the zoo.

“We have old exhibits that were built in the 1950s that need to be upgraded, that need to be refurbished,” said Renee Neuert, executive director of the zoological society. “We also have needs for paving and fencing … to upgrade it, to bring it to the next level.”

Neuert took ABC-7 on a guided walking tour of the zoo on Thursday, in advance of a community meeting and tour planned for Friday morning. The purpose of the tour, Neuert said, is to show residents what needs to be improved. Her tour will focus on the Americas section of the zoo, which contains wolves, bears, and monkeys, as well as the reptile and avian exhibits.

There is no set list of how the quality of life bond money will be spent. That’s why Neuert said she wants to make sure that city residents are well aware of the zoo’s shortcomings so they’ll remember when it comes time to vote on the bond.

Specifically, Neuert would like to expand exhibits, add shade and rest areas, update buildings, remodel the exterior of the reptile house, and replace the netting in the avian exhibit. She would also like to look into adding a Chihuahuan desert exhibit.

“This is a quality of life issue, not only for our citizens, but this is economic development for our community as well,” Neuert said. “Tourists come to the zoo. It can become a recreation destination for a lot of people in the surrounding areas.”

The tour is planned for Friday at 11 a.m. Neuert will meet participants at the zoo entrance, which is at 4001 E. Paisano Drive in South El Paso.

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