3D Overview Site Plan
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s aquatics exhibit is nearly 60 years old and no longer meets the needs of our hippos and penguins, or our growing visitor base. Our newly designed exhibit will greatly expand their space, giving our penguins their very own South African beach, and our hippos their own Nile valley waterway. It will also allow us to mix it up a bit by introducing some new species to the Zoo, such as saddle-billed storks and African gazelle. Set in the hippos’ waterway will be an island occupied by one of the most intriguing animals in the primate kingdom – lemurs! There will be multiple ways to view all the animals, and plenty of opportunities for memorable experiences.
A very hip hippo exhibit – Did you know that only about 87 hippos are on exhibit across the country right now? Not many zoos exhibit them, which makes Cheyenne Mountain Zoo pretty unique. There is a need for captive hippo breeding programs, and our new exhibit will give us the space to acquire a male hippo and begin a breeding program right here in Colorado Springs. We also want to be better water stewards, so we’re installing a water recycling system in the new exhibit that will drastically reduce our current use of 60,000 gallons of water per day to maintain healthy environments for our animals.
A plush penguin pad – The African penguin has recently been placed on the endangered species list, which makes it more important than ever that we draw attention to this amazing species and the perils it faces in the wild. We also want to boost successful breeding of our flock. The new penguin exhibit will allow us to do that by giving them improved ventilation in their indoor space, as well as their own rocky, outdoor beach to explore during warmer months. Guests can get ready for an entirely new experience – waddling side-by-side with the flock in the exhibit’s new “free roam” area.
Up-close and experiential – Our new aquatics exhibit is designed for maximum interaction and fun, especially for our younger visitors. The new Tortoise Yard will feature 15 African spurred tortoises – the third largest tortoise species in the world – and the opportunity to feed them. Crossing the suspension bridge (and peering at hippos below) will lead children to a nature play area that encourages discovery and imagination.
The EdVenture continues… in our new, expanding EdVenture complex! Making Waves is also about enhancing our programs for children ages 2-17. To do that, we are building a larger indoor space for our growing EdVenture programs. The new EdVenture complex, which will be located near the Zoo’s main entrance, will also include ADA-accessible public bathrooms on its ground floor. With over 750,000 annual visitors, we want to continue to meet the needs of all our guests.
Learn more about the animals of Making Waves, HERE.
Watch the new exhibit construction progress, HERE.