Its been a bit like summertime this spring at the Fort Wayne Childrens Zoo.
Many animals have been out and about, basking in the sun within their outdoor enclosures.
The one thing thats missing, of course, is their admiring visitors. But animals of the human sort wont be let in early this year, officials say, despite the unseasonably warm weather.
Theres a lot more to opening the zoo than just swinging open the gate and letting anybody in, Education and Communication Director Cheryl Piropato said. Getting the zoo open is a big job. There are thousands of details to take care of.
The zoo opens for the season April 21. But if visitors were to peek in now, Piropato said, they might find a disappointing version of the childrens attraction.
The zoos train doesnt have an engine, she said. Concessions stands have been torn down so they can be replaced; the sea lion tank is drained and no water fountains work. And several animal enclosures dont have their boundaries up – so some animals, like the penguins, could easily mingle with visitors.
Every time people come to the zoo, they see this beautiful tableau laid out for them, Piropato said. When they come at a time when its less than perfect, its not as good of an experience. We like to wait until we have everything ready to go until we invite our guests in to enjoy it.
When the zoo does open its doors later this month, Piropato said there will be plenty to look forward to. In addition to new menus, visitors will also be discovering some baby animals.
Seven kangaroo joeys were born last spring but have only recently been out of their mothers pouches, Piropato said. Since January, the Australian Adventure has been home to seven dingo puppies. The puppies parents, Mattie and Naya, are one of only about 75 pairs of pure dingoes worldwide, according to the zoos website.
The zoo has posted pictures of the puppies and video up on its website – and they hope the new additions are worth the wait.
I think most people are excited about the puppies, Piropato said. Since theyve been born, theyve gotten a lot of attention.