Grand OpeningHelp Us Celebrate the ZooFarm Opening!
June 7, 2016
On Wednesday, June 8, 2016, at 10 a.m., the Virginia Zoo welcomes Norfolk Mayor Paul Fraim to commemorate the opening of the ZooFarm. The ceremony will take place at the entrance of the exhibit, located across from the Reptile Building. Following the ceremony, visitors are invited to explore the new space and meet some familiar – and not-so-familiar exotic farm friends now on exhibit.
The renovations include dramatic facelifts to all six of the barns, featuring new windows, exterior finishes and fresh, bright paint. Seating areas have tripled throughout the ZooFarm, plus an outdoor classroom for educational programming and animal pop-ups has been created. This immersive experience will create life-long connections with the animals through up-close encounters and learning opportunities. The ZooFarm gardens will grow vegetables from corn to beans to peanuts. A new cistern has been added to capture up to 7,000 gallons of rainwater to irrigate the gardens.
The Virginia Zoo has added more than a dozen new breeds and species to the ZooFarm, including two types of porcupines, cavy, prairie dogs, sheep, zebu, duikers, a variety of birds and a new rodent house. The new residents join the Zoo’s long-time favorites Kunekune pigs, cattle, alpacas and others. The interactive goat yard returns this year with more 20 baby Nigerian dwarf and mini LaMancha goats ready to receive visitors. The collection will expand as the summer continues with babydoll sheep and a miniature zebu set to arrive late June. After interactions with the goats and other ZooFarm members, visitors can wash their hands at the new hand-washing station and driers.
“Like many other zoo professionals, I started my career as a teenager in a children’s zoo farm, so the area has been a special project for myself and several zoo keepers here at the Virginia Zoo,” said Virginia Zoo Executive Director Greg Bockheim.
Help support the ZooFarm animals by adopting them through the Virginia Zoo’s animal adoption program, Zoodoptions. Adoption levels start at just $35 and can be made at the Zoo Gift Shop or by visiting virginiazoo.org for more information.