- Associated Press - Sunday, June 19, 2016

ASHLAND, Neb. (AP) - The Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is planning to overhaul its safari park near Ashland, but officials have not announced what those plans will entail.

Zoo CEO and executive director Dennis Pate recently said he and his staff have started working on a master plan to reconfigure the Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park and Wildlife Safari, the Omaha World-Herald (https://bit.ly/1Udtzgo ) reported. The plan is due out by the end of the year.

The $3.5 million park opened in June 1998, focusing on North American species. It now features animals such as bison, black bears, eagles, wolves, elk, deer and sandhill cranes.

It is open seasonally from spring until fall. It drew 143,668 attendees last year.

Since its opening, a few changes have been made. In 2000, the park added sculptures, trails and a bridge. In 2010, the Eagle Aviary opened with bald eagles, white pelicans, cattle egrets and a golden eagle.

Three years later, the park installed the Crane Meadows Viewing Tower. The 28-foot tower once held news cameras at Rosenblatt Stadium, the former home of the College World Series.

Each winter, several animals are moved from the Omaha zoo to the safari park, about 20 miles to the southwest of Omaha, during various Omaha zoo construction projects.

The park will continue to be used for imported animals during quarantine and for those awaiting new homes during construction in Omaha, Pate said.


Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com

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