Zoo breaks ground on African forest

September 10, 2009 3:00:36 PM PDT
The Houston Zoo Thursday held a groundbreaking ceremony for the most ambitious project in the zoo's 87-year history. The Aldine Dance Company performed in African animal costumes at the ceremony which officially kicked off construction of the African Forest. The expansion will sit on six and a half acres and re-create the forest landscape of western equatorial Africa. The exhibit will house chimpanzees, rhinos, giraffes and other animals while surrounding visitors with the sights, sounds and smells of Africa.

"We've been working on this project since the idea began over seven years ago. In those seven years of planning and designing and fundraising, now we have construction. We're ready to go. In 14 months, we'll have the African Forest open to the community," said Rick Barongi of the Houston Zoo.

The zoo said the African forest will open in December 2010.

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