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Denver Zoo celebrates construction milestone for new animal hospital

Construction on the Denver Zoo's new animal hospital is halfway complete.

DENVER — The Denver Zoo is celebrating a construction milestone for a new animal hospital that's set to open next fall.

The Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital is taking shape on the north side of the zoo along 23rd Avenue. The media was invited to tour the progress on the 22,000 square-foot facility during an event on Thursday.

When it's complete, the animal hospital will be more than double the size of the zoo's current facility. 

“This is really reshaping a pretty big chunk of real estate here at the Denver Zoo,” zoo spokesperson Jake Kubie said.

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Credit: Nico Goda, KUSA

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The animal hospital will include a public lobby with viewing windows where guests can watch exams and procedures as they are administered in treatment rooms and surgery suites. 

“People will be able to see how we care for our animals in real-time, every day," Kubie said.

The hospital will also feature a world-class diagnostic laboratory, indoor and outdoor holding and quarantine spaces and one of the only animal hospital CT scanners in the country. 

Kubie said the new facility will expand the zoo's ability to provide care for the more than 3,000 animals that live there.

“By building this from scratch, our vet med team basically got the opportunity to create the exact facility that they need for the long run,” Kubie said. “They'll be able to care for anything from little frogs that weigh a few grams, all the way up to animals around 1,000 pounds."

Credit: Nico Goda, KUSA

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The project broke ground this past spring. Construction is on pace for the animal hospital to open by the fall of 2020. 

“We’re moving right along, and this is an exciting development for us," Kubie said.

The project is funded in part by the Elevate Denver Bond Program and donors, including the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Foundation.

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