State lawmakers frowned on an $800 million bonding bill for public works projects across the state, and the zoo's $15 million wasn't in a smaller $156 million measure approved in the final stages of this year's session. Plans to remodel the zoo's snow monkey exhibit are also on hold.
Jimmy Pichner, 61, began working with the massive bird when the zoo opened in 1978. One day about six years ago, Max stopped flying. Pichner — who rarely touches the birds — picked up Max and carried him out of the exhibit. He died shortly after.
The zoo is deciding how far $4 million in state bonding money will go in renovating its Discovery Bay aquarium. It had asked for $7 million. The zoo decided this spring it would no longer keep dolphins after one died, leaving it with just two.
Officials at the Minnesota Zoo had been considering their decision to end a popular dolphin exhibit several months before the Legislature approved a $4 million bonding request for the zoo that many state lawmakers thought would be used to fix up the dolphin tanks.
The Minnesota Zoo has two new Amur (ah-MOOR') leopard cubs, one of the most endangered cats in the world. The cubs were born at the Apple Valley zoo Tuesday. They join an estimated 90 Amur leopards living in captivity in the U.S.
The Minnesota Zoo is celebrating the birth of two litters of endangered Asian wild dogs. The dogs — known as dholes (dohlz) — are the first litters born at the Apple Valley zoo. The zoo says there are fewer than 2,500 dholes in the wild.
The penguins traveled from the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot to the Como Zoo in St. Paul after their home base was covered by floodwaters this summer. Now the penguins will make their new home inside the Minnesota Zoo's new "3M Penguins of the African Coast" exhibit in Apple Valley.
Zoo spokeswoman Kelly Lessard says the wolf got out on to the zoo's Northern Trail and ventured over to a bison area. She says the area was evacuated, the wolf was located and then shot and killed because it was considered a direct threat to people.
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