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Boonshoft Museum of Discovery Opens New Zoo

Dayton, OH – On Sunday, September 12 from noon‐5:00 p.m., the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will celebrate the grand opening its new Discovery Zoo to the public with a ribbon cutting (12:15 p.m.) and free admission for children who are accompanied by an adult.

“The reconstruction of the Discovery Zoo has been a labor‐intensive process that we are excited to share with all the members of our community,” says Mark Meister, President and CEO of the Dayton Society of Natural History. “Having the public here is the perfect way to welcome back the animals.”

In addition to the opportunity to meet the Meerkats and welcome River Otters Shiloh and Sushi home from their “vacation” during renovations, guests can view Madison the Bobcat in her new enclosure, wander through the nocturnal area to see Kinkajous and Egyptian Fruit Bats, and encounter Prehensile Tailed Porcupines and Brazilian Agoutis.

“The renovation of the zoo spaces is part of our ongoing efforts to create enriching lives for the animals in our care,” says Mark Mazzei, Curator of Live Animals at the Boonshoft Museum. “The changes will not only help the Museum maintain its Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accreditation, but they will also ensure that we remain good stewards of animals, and provide a high quality educational experience for our visitors.”

Begun in January 2010, the renovations to the 6,000‐square‐foot space feature a wide range of themed animal display areas that are comprised of larger, multi‐species habitats, including a nocturnal area and mini rainforest. When complete, the Zoo will also include interactive kiosks with either video presentations or touch‐screen computers equipped with games and other learning tools, as well as new space for “animal talks” with experienced staff.

Themed around the concept of animal adaptation, the Discovery Zoo now houses not only native Ohio species, including the ever‐popular Madison the Bobcat, River Otters Shiloh and Sushi and the famous weather predicting Groundhog, Ivy, but has also been expanded to include a few more exotic species, including Kinkajous, Meerkats, a Spiny Tailed Iguana, and Egyptian Fruit Bats, as well as others.

In addition to meeting current best practices and standards for zoos and aquariums, the improved living spaces in the Zoo will also establish a more meaningful experience for visitors, as the larger enclosures will be more representative of animals that might be found together in the wild. These more modern spaces also incorporate opportunities for exercise and enrichment for the animals, including changeable climbing opportunities, movable perching, food hiding places and more natural lighting.

Previously known as the Wild Ohio Zoo, the Discovery Zoo has become home to animals from far beyond the reaches of our state. Featuring species from five continents, the Zoo incorporates animals that have all adapted to thrive in different ways. While some are nocturnal, others have adapted to living in the desert or in rainforest environments; new residents even include owls that live in burrows, or underground nests.

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is a place where play and learning come together so that visitors of all ages can explore the wonders of the world. The Museum includes a host of places for adventure and two galleries for temporary exhibits. Adventures are enhanced utilizing real specimens and artifacts from the Museum’s collection of 1.4 million items. Formerly known as The Dayton Museum of Natural History, the name was changed in 1999 to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery in recognition of Oscar Boonshoft, one of the Museum’s most dedicated friends. The Dayton Society of Natural History is the parent organization of the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery and its sister organization, SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park, a reconstructed site and interpretive center of the area’s 12th century Fort Ancient Indians. For more information, visit or call 937‐275‐7431.

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
2600 DeWeese Parkway
Dayton, Ohio 45414

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