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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo to close its monkey pavilion

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has not made a decision about the future of the space.
Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is moving forward with plans to demolish its Monkey Pavilion.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Cheyenne Mountain Zoo announced Sunday it will move forward with plans to demolish its Monkey Pavilion beginning in November.

Built in 1942 and once considered architecturally beautiful and state-of-the-art, the zoo said its Monkey Pavilion has become a symbol of zoos past and "its design does not reflect who we are today."

The zoo said the building, located centrally near the zoo's eateries and carousel, originally housed big cats, such as tigers, leopards and lions. Since then, the building has undergone renovations to support residents including lemurs, monkeys, sloths and more.

"Its now-dated design is a nod to the progress Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited modern zoos have made since its construction, and its demolition is further evidence of the importance we place on providing the best possible opportunities for our guests to fall in love with animals, without distracting barriers," said Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in a statement.

While some current Monkey Pavilion residents will move to other spaces at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, some will find new homes at other AZA-accredited facilities.

The building will continue to empty over the next month and a half, with the building closing Oct. 28.

Zoo officials said demolition of the pavilion will begin in November and is expected to take several months.

"While the building provided good homes and enriching experiences for the animals that lived there, it falls short of providing an environment that helps our keepers build connections between guests and animals," said said Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. "We see opportunities for better use of the area. The possibilities seem endless, and we are considering every idea. We have not yet made decisions about the future of the space, but will announce them when the time is right."

"Embracing our past, and learning from it, strengthens our future potential. It highlights how far we've come through positive changes across the zoo profession, and it encourages us to keep striving for additional change that will make us even better in the future," said Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Credit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo