Red River Zoo’s new exhibit to feature North American wildlife
"You're going to be able to see bison, pronghorn antelope, sand hill cranes as well as a new prairie dog exhibit."
FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) — If you’re looking to encounter North Dakota wildlife you may not have to go very far.
The Red River Zoo’s four acre expansion project “Scheels Pride of the Prairie” is under construction. The exhibit will feature an ecosystem of plants and animals that are native to North America.
“This exhibit is going to be absolutely fantastic. It’s going to be multiple animal species all living together here in one large exhibit at the zoo. You’re going to be able to see bison, pronghorn antelope, sand hill cranes as well as a new prairie dog exhibit,” Red River Zoo Executive Director Sally Jacobson said.
Jacobson says the new exhibit has been in the works for years, but due to the pandemic it’s been hard to get the project going.
“We started this whole process, talking about it in 2017 and we started moving forward and then of course the pandemic hit and just with everybody it kind of put everything on pause. It was quite frightening for us, but as a non-profit I have to keep my eyes on our finances and make sure that we have measured specific growth so that we know that we can continue to operate,” said Jacobson.
Now as the zoo sees more visitations, Jacobson says she is looking towards the future with more projects in mind.
“We’ve got a whole master plan. There are a plethora of amazing animals that you can see here and animals that would do really well in Fargo. Both endangered animals and those iconic animals that people want to see when they visit zoos. So, really the world is our oyster,” added Jacobson.
But in order to continue to see the zoo’s expansion it’s going to need help from the community.
“As long as we can have a community and individuals and businesses continue to see that vision and help us meet that vision and bring it into reality, it’s quite exciting if we get together,it’s like we’re small but mighty and we’re going to make big things happen,” said Jacobson.
Jacobson says the Red River Zoo welcomes volunteers and donations for the expansion project.
The Scheels Pride of the Prairie exhibit is set to open next summer.