DENVER — Visitors will need to flock to the Denver Zoo quickly in order to see Bird World before it closes for good on Oct. 1.
Denver Zoo announced Thursday that the area which first opened in 1973 needs extensive, costly repairs and no longer meets the needs of animals that call it home.
Given those facts, zoo leadership made the decision to close it in order to proceed with future developments.
Plans are being discussed for new animal habitats and guest experiences and will be announced when they are finalized.
The $1.25 million exhibit—the most expensive installation at the time it opened—featured open, natural habitats, and five different heating and cooling systems which provided ideal conditions for more than 100 different species of rare, colorful birds.
“Bird World has served the Zoo incredibly well over the last 45 years, but the time has come to prioritize its closure so we can move forward with our Master Plan,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of Denver Zoo.
“Due to its age and complex life support systems, Bird World is one of the Zoo’s biggest users of water and electricity. We can do better by our animals, guests and the environment by replacing it with new exhibits and experiences.”
In preparation for Bird World’s closing, the bird care team has already started relocating many of the 200 birds and other animals in Bird World to other existing facilities within the Zoo, as well as to other approved facilities that meet their standards of care.
Many popular species, including Linne’s two-toed sloths and African penguins, will remain at the Zoo, and guests will still be able to view and interact with many bird species at the flamingo habitat, Lorikeet Adventure, Nurture Trail, Forest Aviary in Primate Panorama, and elsewhere throughout the Zoo.
“We remain committed to maintaining a diverse, engaging group of bird species at the Zoo, and will also continue our important work breeding, rearing and providing exceptional care for essential bird species in our Avian Propagation Center,” said Senior Vice President for Animal Sciences Brian Aucone. “The closure of Bird World is bittersweet, but there are a lot of reasons to be excited for what’s coming next.”
Guests are encouraged to visit Bird World before it closes on Oct. 1. The building is scheduled to be razed early next year.
SUGGESTED VIDEOS | Feature stories from 9NEWS