African Grasslands opening soon at Omaha zoo

Posted at 6:16 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 19:16:48-04

The Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo will open their new African Grasslands exhibit next Friday for Memorial Day weekend. The zoo showed the progress on Thursday.

“This whole African exhibit is unique because of the proximity, the closeness of the animals, the mixed species you get,” said Zoo Director Dennis Pate.

Included in the exhibit will be bongos, lions, sable antelope, and tortoises, just to name a few.

Crews were working to finish the lion’s enclosure that gives you an almost 360 view of the African cats.

Workers still need to put up fences and paint, but everything will be ready to go by next Friday. 

“We are really close, there are odds and ends in all the exhibits,” said Pate.

He also said they broke the first quarter record in attendance this year and credits that with the excitement around the new exhibit and the elephants.

“It’s exciting to actually walk a far distance and see animals because for so long it’s been under construction,” said zoo visitor Mckenzie Beauchanp.

“It was so fun today to see the elephants, for our kids it's new and was really great,” said Sarah Jackson.

Pate said the exhibit will be ready for Friday’s unveiling, no matter what. The zoo expects over 40,000 people to visit next weekend.