Baby animals and new exhibit will debut during Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo opening-day

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Zookeepers and workers scrambled around the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo on Tuesday in what Zoo Director Jim Anderson says “isn’t chaos, it’s organized.”

The zoo’s biggest obstacle ahead of opening-day Saturday seems to be finishing the new Outback area of its Australian Adventure.

(Saige Driver/ 1190 WOWO)
(Saige Driver/ 1190 WOWO)

Workers were still painting and planting trees Tuesday, but when the area is done, it’ll feature a myriad of new attractions for zoo-goers.

An area for Tasmanian devils is in the beginning stages of construction. The animals should come later this season straight from Australia, Jessica Brita-Segyde, the zoo’s communications specialist said.

Completed projects include the renovation of the kangaroo yard and a new reptile house was built.

(Saige Driver/ 1190 WOWO)
(Saige Driver/ 1190 WOWO)

The log ride also has a new look.

It’s now called “Crocodile Creek” and features different stages of a croc’s life. The ride ends near a large fiber glass crocodile next to the river.

Anders is excited about the new attractions, even if the construction if cutting it close to opening day.

“We love to watch long time guests stop and say… ‘where am I?’,” Anderson says, adding that sometimes the zoo changes so much in the off-season that quests get lost in the zoo.

The zoo is also welcoming several new animals this season.
Two baby penguins were born during the winter. Echo, a female endangered black-footed penguin, hatched Nov. 24. Her uncle, Blue, who is just 12-weeks-old, is also a new face at the zoo. He won’t be out for display until later this season.

(Saige Driver/ 1190 WOWO)
(Saige Driver/ 1190 WOWO)

The zoo also welcomed a new male swamp monkey, a 2-year-old female giraffe name Faye, three new kangaroo joeys, a baby crocodile and a 15-year-old Amur leopard named Ussuri.

The zoo opens at 9 a.m. Saturday for its 51st season.

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