Zoo says exhibit no longer meets the needs of animals and guests.
For decades, it has served as a place where birds of a feather flocked together. Today, however, Bird World's flight is coming to an end.
"When it opened in 1973, Bird World was the most colorful feather in Denver Zoo’s cap. But time has taken its toll—the 45-year-old exhibit no longer meets the needs of our animals and guests, and we’ve made the decision to proceed with future developments rather than endure costly renovations," says the Denver Zoo's Facebook page.
When it was built, Bird World was the most expensive installation of its time with a price tag of $1.25 million. It featured open habitats, a variety of A/C systems to keep the environment perfect for the over 100 species of rare and colorful feathered friends. It served the zoo well for several decades, but it doesn't meet the zoo's modern standards of efficiency and sustainability, and extensive, costly repairs are just too much to undertake.
Newspaper clipping announcing the opening of Bird World in 1973 | Courtesy of DenverZoo.org
The zoo has decided that the exhibit will close on October 1, making way for new habitats and guest experiences, which will be announced in the future.
"Due to its age and complex life support systems, Bird World is one of the Zoo’s biggest users of water and electricity. We can do better by our animals, guests and the environment by replacing it with new exhibits and experiences," said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of Denver Zoo in a statement.
From now until closing, the zoo will be relocating Bird World's 200 birds and other animals to a variety of facilities on the grounds. Officials say that they are committed to maintaining the zoo's diverse bird population, as well as continuing to breed, raise, and care for essential bird species.
If you want to see Bird World one last time before it closes, you have until October 1. The building will be demolished in 2020, and new exhibit plans will be announced as they are finalized.
"The closure of Bird World is bittersweet, but there are a lot of reasons to be excited for what’s coming next," said Senior Vice President for Animal Sciences Brian Aucone.
Will you miss Bird World? Let us know in the comment below.