Fresno Chaffee Zoo unveils ambassador animal complex

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno Chaffee Zoo now has a new home for some of its most popular animals -- with the unveiling of its ambassador animal complex Wednesday.

"These animals were housed in one of our classrooms and it was okay, but we really knew that as our program continued to grow and as we wanted to get better at doing what we do, that we had to house these animals in sort of well-designed spaces that were just for their needs," says Fresno Chaffee Zoo Chief Executive Officer Jon Forrest Dohlin.

The animals that will live here are specifically trained for education efforts and guest interactions.

The $3.3 million facility took a year to build and sits on an acre of land with the ability to house dozens of animal favorites such as snakes, turtles and owls in various individual enclosures.

"This is a perfect example of what Measure Z allows the Fresno Chaffee Zoo to do," Dohlin said. "To build a beautiful suite of buildings that allows to deliver on animal welfare, visitor experience and our outreach programs."

Not only will the new state-of-the-art complex help zookeepers provide better care for existing creatures, but officials say it will also allow them to grow the zoo's collection of ambassador animals.

Each enclosure will be designed with that specific animal in mind.

"Once we move in and in all the enclosures we have here, we're going to select who will live where," says General Curator Lyn Myers. "Then, we're going to fit that area just like you'd fit your home or new apartment to your needs and your likes or dislikes. We will do that for each of the animals once we select spots for them."

Zoo officials hope to move in all the animals in the coming weeks
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