New zoo exhibit closer to completion

FRESNO, Calif.

Construction crews at the Zoo used a massive crane to lift a large piece of glass at the new sea exhibit Wednesday.

They laid down a, eight foot high, 35-foot wide piece that will eventually look a lot like the concept design.

"This panel will provide us with an underwater viewing area of our seals and sea lions. So we're excited about it. It's going to be a great part of the exhibit. Something we've never had here at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo," Adrienne Castro said.

A small group of employees looked in awe as crews cautiously placed the acrylic window adjacent to the walking trail.

Barbara Woodard spent the day at the zoo with her students from Sherman Thomas Charter School in Madera.

They experienced the current sea lion exhibit and can't wait to come back when the new one is complete.

"It's going to be a great new experience for them to actually see the things that go on underwater, whereas right here they can't really see that up front. So it's going to be a great change," Woodard said.

Zoo officials say installing the underwater window clears the biggest hurdle in this $10.5 million project, which they say is on time and on budget.

Once complete, it will leave you feeling like you're in the heart of the California Central Coast.

The zoo's sea lions won't move into the brand new sea lion cove until the fall of next year. But in the meantime you can still catch them right in between the flamingos and the giraffes.

Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.