New Plan For ABQBioPark Mimics Rivers Of The World

Jul 1, 2014

Under the proposed master plan, animals at the zoo would be grouped with other species that share the same environment in the wild.
Credit ABQ Biopark


The state's largest biopark held its third and final feedback session this week on a new master plan that would dramatically change the zoo's catwalk. The area made up of caged caves with bobcats in one stall, clumped right next to tigers, would no longer exist.  

Rick Janser is the Director of the Albuquerque BioPark, which is more then just a zoo.  He explained that the latest plan for revamping the environmental museum would mimic micro-environments of rivers throughout the world. It would also create larger areas where all the cats endemic to a specific region of the globe would rotate through the same exhibit.

"So they have a little more room to roam," says Janser, "plus interesting smells. If you've had a tiger in an exhibit, a snow leopard comes in, they're gonna kind of wonder what's going on, sniff the scents, mark their territories, so it gives them more to think about."

The zoo was built in the 1920's along the banks of the Rio Grande and has grown over the years to include botanical gardens, an aquarium and the recreation spot known as Tingley Beach. But it’s been decades since the City of Albuquerque has worked to make all the areas feel a little more cohesive and to create better environments for the animals.

The new plan would group together species that are found living near one another in the wild.