New York’s largest public zoo has added new pet lighting fixtures and an expanded exhibit to its pet park to boost its pet experience.
Zoo lights will now light up the zoo’s outdoor areas during special events, while there will be new outdoor events and displays.
The zoo will also expand its Pet Food Drive, which has helped feed the animals and help bring awareness to their plight, said Paul O’Neill, the zoo director.
Zoos have long struggled to attract and retain new members, especially in light of a rising number of illnesses affecting some of the animals.
A 2016 report by the Center for Biological Diversity found that up to 2.5 million animals had died of food poisoning in the U.S. in 2015.
The Bronx Zoo has been one of the biggest losers.
In 2016, it lost 1.7 million animals due to the coronavirus pandemic.
O’Neill said the Zoo’s new lighting and exhibit will help with that problem, but also will increase visitor engagement and give the zoo more visitors.
“The lighting we have here will allow for an additional level of experience for visitors,” he said.
“We also want to encourage our visitors to be more active in their pet and outdoor play activities.”
The addition of the lighting and exhibits will help the zoo increase its number of visitors to 1.4 million by 2019, he said, compared to the 1.3 million visitors who came through the park in 2016.
The addition will be made possible by a $1.3 billion upgrade to the zoo and $600 million of investment, O’Neil said.