Big changes to come at Irvine Park Zoo

Chippewa Falls, Wis. (WEAU) -- Another makeover is coming soon for Irvine Park Zoo in Chippewa Falls.The latest changes are designed to make your visit more enjoyable year-round.

For kids and adults, there's something magical about seeing zoo animals, right here in the Chippewa Valley. And in the next couple of months, three new buildings will be designed to showcase birds and small mammals.

"The facilities we have here are small facilities, it's not natural and it really stick out now when it sits next to the new facilities that we built," says Dick Hebert, Director of Parks and Recreation.

Jennifer London is the zoo keeper and says these cages are too small and new enclosures will be easier to maintain and better for the animals. They'll also make it easier for you to see the animals. "What we're going to try to do is make it, make the cages or enclosures, so they are versatile so we change the animals up if we want. All we have to do is change the furniture inside to fit the animal," says London.

Unfortunately during the winter months at the zoo you don’t see as many animals or you get a more distant few like here with the big cats and bears but these new animal enclosures, you'll actually get to see those animals up close and personal all year round.

"So when we build these new facilities we're going to make sure they are built so people can enjoy our wonderful zoo throughout the year," says Hebert.

The zoo also plans to build a welcome center that will have meeting rooms, artifacts and exhibits along with offering tours that will expand education at the zoo.

"One of the mainstays of Irvine Park is the zoo so we want to continue making the zoo better and provides more humane facilities for our animals," says Hebert.

Once there's a design, the city and friends of the Irvine Park Zoo will start a big effort to raise money for the work, through donations.

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