Zoo's barnyard exhibit will get your goat

The Blade
Fri, 22 May 2020 17:18:19 GMT

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The Toledo Zoo this summer will debut a new barnyard petting exhibit, depending on the loosening of coronavirus restrictions, the zoo announced Friday.

The interactive Nancy L. and Martin Davidson Barnyard will be an area open year-round where guests can see alpacas, goats, pigs, and other farm animals.

Exactly when the public will be able to see the exhibit, which is already largely in place and can be seen in the Zoo’s Facebook page, depends on when Gov. Mike DeWine allows the zoo to reopen under the coronavirus restrictions, said zoo spokesman Kim Haddix.

“We have to wait for the governor to give us some guidance,” Ms. Haddix said. The regulations will also determine when zoo patrons will be allowed to touch the animals.

The barnyard is off the zoo’s main plaza in the historic Lodge. The Lodge is one of the Zoo’s oldest buildings and was originally home to elephants and hippos. Later the famous giant pandas resided there, and most recently the building served as an event space.

Now with more than 3,000 square feet of indoor space and 8,000 square feet of outdoor space, the area will offer a fun and educational experience for zoo visitors of all ages, the zoo said in a news release.

The barnyard exhibit will be included with zoo admission. In the future, guests will be able to interact with the animals or, for a small fee, feed them.

Zoo supporters can be a part of this new exhibit by purchasing a Zoo PAL animal sponsorship for the new residents or a commemorative plaque or bench to be displayed in the new space. They can learn more about donor opportunities at toledozoo.org/donate or by calling the Development Team at 419-385-5721 ext. 2078, the zoo said.

“The Zoo’s goal is always to provide the most immersive, hands-on connections to animals for our guests. Bringing back a traditional petting zoo not only provides a new way to interact with animals, but can also help make connections to our food supply and the growing need for sustainability. We invite everyone to experience the Barnyard on their next Zoo visit,” said Jeff Sailer, Toledo Zoo president and CEO.