A new exhibit at the El Paso Zoo replicates and brings to life our region’s habitat.

City officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Chihuahuan Desert exhibit and Copper Canyon Challenge Ropes Course at the zoo on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

The $16 million exhibit, which sits on 2.3 acres, recreates the native Chihuahuan Desert habitat and is part of the 2012 quality of life bond.

It serves as the home for Mexican grey wolves, mountain lions, jaguars, pronghorn, prairie dogs, thick-billed parrots, coati and other smaller species. The exhibit features botanical landscaping, large rockwork structures, overhead animal pathways, simulated flash floods and public art.

El Paso zoo director Joe Montisano said the new exhibit “opens up a lot of possibilities.” 

“It really gives us the capability to leap into conservation,” he said.

The ropes course allows visitors to climb three stories and get a hawk’s eye view of the new exhibit and the entire zoo.

The zoo, 4001 E. Paisano, is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (admission gate closes at 4 p.m.), but will be closed Thanksgiving Day. Admission is $7.50-$12, free for children 2 and younger.

Information: 915-212-0966; elpasozoo.org.

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