Local

New Chaffee Zoo exhibit expected to draw crowds

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The mild weather drew a record number of visitors to Fresno's Chaffee Zoo last weekend.

And after the Sea Lion Cove exhibit project is complete, those numbers are expected to be even higher.

The site broke ground in September of last 2010 and took shape at a rapid pace.

As some two dozen-plus construction workers build the various areas of this exhibit, a small group of artistic carvers are adding artificial sea creatures and more to it's cliff walls.

Zoo director Scott Barton can't say enough about the progress and what this new exhibit will offer zoo visitors.

"The artists will actually carve the texture coat to make it look like a real rock at the California coast. We want it to feel as if your walking on a trail at Point Lobos, so the trail will feel that way the planting will feel that artificial rock work will feel that way," Barton said.

It is a labor of love not just for the zoo, that same feeling can be found among the construction workers.

Tony David is part of the project and expects his kids will be awed by the results he played a part in creating.

"They do come to the zoo, they do see this. And for me to I point out 'hey, dad did that", I think they'll be a little more excited. They're proud of me, it feels good, a good feeling inside," David said.

That good feeling spreads all over the zoo as visitors and employees alike watch it taking shape.

The two hundred thousand gallon underwater pool will offer visitors and up close look you can't get now.

Some time in August these sea lions will be moving to their new home at Sea Lion Cove and be joined by as may as four more.

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Tags:
chaffee zoo, fresno, fresno county, fresno central, local, nancy osborne
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