Minnesota Zoo Media Contact

If you are a member of the press, please contact: Kelly Lessard
Public Relations Manager
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
952.431.9217 direct
952.431.9300 fax
[email protected]

New-and-improved exhibit opens October 10, 2014

Apple Valley, MINN – October 10, 2014 – A few feathered Minnesota Zoo residents, along with three new species, have a brand new habitat to call home when the Zoo opens its new-and-improved South American Aviary on Friday, October 10, 2014.

Located in the Zoo’s Tropics Trail, the new South American Aviary adds an innovative dimension to the Trail by bringing birds of the Americas and guests closer than ever before. Three new species – sunbitterns, roseate spoonbills, and Venezuelan troupials – will join crested oropendolas, Peruvian thick-knees, elegant crested-tinamous, black-necked stilts and scarlet ibises in a new lush habitat boasting more viewing areas, better lighting, hundreds of plants, a wading pool and waterfalls to celebrate the birds’ natural behaviors. The new habitat also includes expanded rockwork, enhanced soil, UV filtration for water conservation, and improved behind-the-scenes areas for efficient diet preparation and avian husbandry.

“The new South American Aviary is an exciting addition to the Zoo’s signature Tropics Trail,” says Minnesota Zoo President Lee Ehmke. “This new exhibit area showcases the work of the Zoo’s exceptional design, construction, horticultural and bird management staff, while highlighting a variety of exotic birds that few Minnesotans would ever have the chance to see.  One of the featured species, the crested oropendola, is not only strikingly beautiful but makes an extraordinary menu of calls, including one that sounds like an electrical short-circuit!” Ehmke adds, “Especially with winter approaching, the South American Aviary enriches the already lush environment of this year-round indoor Trail for Zoo guests seeking a warm getaway right in their own backyard.”

The Zoo’s new South American Aviary, which is over 1,000 square feet, was conceptualized and completed primarily by Zoo staff.

The Minnesota Zoo is located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. Open year round, the Zoo is one of the State’s premier cultural attractions serving 1.2 million visitors annually. With a mission to connect people, animals and the natural world, the Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). Learn more at mnzoo.org or by calling 952.431.9500.