Santa Ana Zoo celebrates its 70th anniversary and $2 million in funding for instructional building

Immediately after Ethan Fisher looked around aged shots of the Santa Ana Zoo from the 1950s, he marveled at how a great deal the zoo has grown around the years.

“It’s incredible to glance at individuals images and definitely see that there was not a total ton right here,” Fisher, the zoo’s director, stated about the phone this week. “Almost each tree within the zoo’s 20 acres was planted because the 1950s. You are strolling through this forest and you are viewing the animals, and it’s awesome the amount of progress that has taken spot inside the zoo and then also about the zoo in the community.”

When the zoo opened in 1952, there had been in essence only 4 species of monkeys and not considerably else, he explained. The zoo didn’t even have a fence about it.

“Really, it was just a handful of cages with some monkeys in it,” claimed Fisher, who started off at the zoo as a volunteer in 1999.

About the a long time, a bear, golden eagles and some other indigenous wildlife have been included, he stated. Fisher said the zoo growth genuinely took off in the 1980s, with the zoo developing a master approach in 1989. Far more modern exhibits were crafted in the ensuing yrs, together with Amazon’s Edge, Shades of the Amazon Aviary, the Zoofari Express prepare experience and other people.

“We want to be a place where by the local community can collect and understand about conservation and inspire them into motion,” Fisher stated. “Also, we want to give the finest welfare we can for the animals that are living in our treatment.”

A family watches a gibbon swing in his exhibit at the Santa Ana Zoo.

A relatives watches a gibbon swing in his show at the Santa Ana Zoo.

(Don Leach / Staff members Photographer)

As element of its 70th anniversary celebration on Tuesday, the zoo also introduced that it secured $2 million in funding from state Sen. Tom Umberg for a new educational making.

Fisher reported the funding will truly help “move the needle forward” with the layout and design of the academic developing. The zoo will now use an architecture agency to style the making, then it will go out to bid to employ a contractor to construct the facility. Fisher approximated that it will consider in between 18 months to two several years to full the roughly 3,000- to 4,000-sq.-foot task.

Fisher described the prepared developing as a multiuse facility that can be utilized as a classroom for schoolchildren who are visiting the zoo for field outings. The setting up will also host meetings and exhibits.

“It’ll be an further area in the zoo that we can do programs indoors — there is not that several indoor services at the zoo,” Fisher claimed.

A bird exhibit on display at the Santa Ana Zoo.

A fowl show on exhibit at the Santa Ana Zoo.

(Don Leach / Personnel Photographer)

A major intention of the educational center will be to enhance outreach to underserved youth in the group.

Fisher explained the zoo is even now in the procedure of setting up the numerous applications for the new creating, but it will very likely consist of gatherings that are section of the zoo software, “Community Connections: The Zoo & You,” which connects the zoo to the community via interactive courses for small children.

As aspect of the plan, kits can be despatched to people’s properties, and they can be utilised in conjunction with a live Zoom session with zoo personnel. Also, zoo personnel will go to various parks in the town to deliver instructional functions for little ones.

“We have these a particular spot with the zoo in Santa Ana, and we want to leverage the casual science options that the zoo can supply,” Fisher mentioned. “There are not a large amount of spots in which you can go locally and see wild animals or be in an city forest. So that is a fantastic matter that we can offer you to people today in just just a several miles of here.”

The zoo also offers a quantity of ways for youth to get involved with conservation initiatives, which includes via internships, volunteering or supporting out with the Frog Pod, wherever they can assistance increase endangered frogs for release back again to the wild.

A cotton-top tamarin monkey stares at visitors as he rests on his perch at the Santa Ana Zoo.

A cotton-top tamarin monkey stares at website visitors as he rests on his perch at the Santa Ana Zoo.

(Don Leach / Personnel Photographer)

The academic creating is aspect of the zoo’s grasp program for the subsequent two decades.

One of the big highlights of the master program is an expansion of what has been known as “Monkey Row” into the “Primate Forest.” The monkey habitats will be enlarged, attendees will be able to see the monkeys at eye-stage on elevated walkways and there will be a backyard garden trail. That is predicted to be tackled in the up coming couple of many years.

The goat trails at the zoo will also be modified so guests can interact with the animals a lot more freely.

In January, the zoo broke ground on the most complicated challenge in its record — a $6.6-million river otter habitat that will also aspect an elevated trail program for primates to journey overhead. The task is anticipated to open in summer time 2023.

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