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Chehaw Wild Animal Park Officially Opens Its First Interactive Exhibit

By   /   October 2, 2009  /   Comments


meerkat2The newest additions to the animal collection at Chehaw Wild Animal Park are ready to make their grand debut. Set for the morning of Saturday Oct. 3, 2009, the exhibit will officially open to the public at 9:30. Guests can get up-close and personal with the four male meerkats in the Zoo’s first interactive exhibit, which includes a window that looks into the animals’ underground burrow.

“The goal of this exhibit is to give guests a true glimpse into the world in which a meerkat ‘mob’ lives,” said Jan Thompson, Chehaw zoo curator and the designer of the exhibit. “Meerkats live a highly social life. Watching these brothers interact and take on specific jobs within the mob is something you can’t learn any better than by seeing the little guys for yourself.”

The meerkats’ night house has already garnered attention of its own because it is constructed with a “green” or vegetative roof. The structure is the first of its kind in the Albany area and Chehaw’s first project that specifically incorporated green building practices.

“The green roof gives the meerkat night house better insulation, which reduces the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the space,” said Doug Porter, executive director of Chehaw. “Given our commitment to education and conservation, we expect to implement some green building practices into future projects, too.”

The second phase of the exhibit includes plans for a maze to simulate the feeling of crawling through a meerkat burrow as well as “termite mound” that children can climb up and slide down. That area of the exhibit is expected to be completed by early spring.


Featuring one of only two zoos in Georgia accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Chehaw also includes a BMX bicycle race track, 18-hole disc golf course, Wild Trail for walkers and runners and one of the largest playgrounds in the state. Chehaw hosts special events throughout the year, like the Native American Cultural Festival in the spring, Swamp Stomp Summer Camps in the summer and Festival of Lights during the holidays. For more information, visit www.ParksatChehaw.org or become a Facebook fan at www.facebook.com/chehaw.

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