The iconic building will close for good on October 28, and many of its residents will be moving to other zoos.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is making changes to modernize exhibits and improve animal living conditions and guest experiences. The iconic Monkey Pavilion is officially closing for good on October 28, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo announced on September 20. The zoo plans to demolish the building beginning in November.
"Fostering relationships between our guests and animals is our top priority, supported by our focuses on animal care, conservation and education," the organization announced in a press release. "The animals’ homes play a vital role in our ability to achieve our goal of helping people fall in love with wildlife and wild places. We understand perception matters. We want to inspire our guests, and have seen that if an enclosure presents too many barriers, our ability to foster those connections is limited."
Today we announced plans to demolish Monkey Pavilion, built in 1942. While the building provided good homes for the animals that lived there, it falls short of providing an environment that helps our keepers build connections between guests and animals. https://t.co/8tkpVYOIs0 pic.twitter.com/gOHSTj8ZZo— CheyenneMountainZoo (@CheyenneMtnZoo) September 20, 2020
The pavilion was originally built in 1942 to house the zoo's big cat population, including lions and tigers. The zoo renovated it to house lemurs, sloths, and monkeys. At its inception, the Monkey Pavilion was seen as a state-of-the-art facility that was a beloved structure for many loyal guests. Today, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo acknowledges that the pavilion is a dated reminder of the progress zoos have made throughout the years.
"Its demolition is further evidence of the importance we place on providing the best possible opportunities for our guests to fall in love with animals, without distracting barriers," the zoo stated. "Embracing our past, and learning from it, strengthens our future potential. It highlights how far we’ve come through positive changes across the zoo profession, and it encourages us to keep striving for additional change that will make us even better in the future."
The zoo has assured its guests that the pavilion's residents will be well-taken care of in the process. Some will move to other areas of the zoo. Others have new homes waiting for them at other Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited facilities.
The building's demolition is planned for November after an official October 28 closing. The zoo anticipates demolition to take several months. While there aren't any current plans for the site, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo plans to search for opportunities that will enhance both the guest and animal experience.
Have you been to the Monkey Pavilion at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo? Leave a comment below.