Our Asia: Trail of the Tiger construction is now complete and the trail is once again open to the public.
Over the next two weeks, while the contractors are putting finishing touches on the Asia: Trail of the Tiger boardwalk, there will be partial closures. Habitats will still be accessible from both sides and signs marking the turn around point will let you know where to turn around. Member Night will not be affected and the entire boardwalk will be accessible during the event. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Due to the expected inclement weather tomorrow, Member Night is going to be POSTPONED until Thursday, July 6. The Asia: Trail of the Tiger boardwalk will still reopen on Friday, June 23 and members will be able to access the area during a special Member Morning! Starting at 8:30 am Friday, members can enter the Zoo to preview the exhibit before we open to the public at 9:30 am.
Members will still have exclusive access to the exhibit during Member Night on Thursday, July 6. Starting at 5 pm, we’ll have Keeper Chats, Behind-the-Scenes tours, and a special announcement of a NEW species that will be coming to the Virginia Zoo.
Please note: The Malayan tapir exhibit will remain closed while the installation of the new visitor fence for the area is being completed.
The newly-renovated Asia: Trail of the Tiger boardwalk will re-open to guests on June 23, 2023. A special preview for members will be available during Member Night on June 22 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.!
With the re-opening of the full trail and summer approaching, general admission will return to pre-construction rates on June 23, including the return of ticket discounts. A number of discounts are available including military, first responders, and teachers.
“The Zoo is proud to be a partner with the City of Norfolk’s Believe in Learning Initiative. As a part of the initiative’s Summer of Learning, we will provide at least four different scheduled activities daily starting in June and running through Labor Day weekend,” says Michelle Lewis, Curator of Education with the Virginia Zoo. All daily activities are free with admission, and there is something for guests of all ages to enjoy. There will be a variety of chats presented by Zoo staff, animal encounters at the Zoo Live! stage, and our popular toddler programs—Wild Tykes, Little Buds, and Zoo Tales. The schedule of events will be posted daily and can also be found on the Zoo’s website.
Additionally, the Zoo is partnering with several community organizations to bring new learning opportunities to Zoo grounds and out into our community. Starting June 16 through August 5, 2023, the Zoo will be one of the stops along ODU MathFest’s Math is Everywhere scavenger hunt aimed at third through eighth grade students. In July, the Zoo is hitting the road in a partnership with Slover Library and Clever Communities in Action to promote literacy. The Zoo’s popular story time program for toddlers, Zoo Tales, will occur on Wednesdays in July at Slover Library. This program includes one to two stories and an animal presentation.
Starting Memorial Day weekend and continuing until Labor Day, the entry plaza fountains—a crowd favorite—will be on with the exception of weekdays through June 9 and during inclement weather. Memorial Day weekend also marks the start of Member Mornings. This gives an exclusive opportunity for Virginia Zoo members to watch Keepers prep the animal’s habitats and watch animals come onto exhibit. A new, electric train is scheduled to head down the Zoo’s tracks starting in July. Later this summer, the Virginia Zoo will open a new habitat for turtles—Turtle Oasis. Guests will also notice new and returning furry and feathered faces during their visits throughout the summer.
Phase 2 of Asia: Trail of the Tiger renovations is in full swing! Like many projects, they sometimes do not go as planned. While our construction crew is working in the field, we continue to find ways to improve previous installments to the enclosures. This includes a previously unplanned new fence structure along Siamang pond walking trail and Tapir exhibit!
This new installment to the plan will require moving the barrier fence towards the Otter/Gibbon exhibit starting today, Monday the 22nd. This will help us to stay on our projected timeline of a spring completion. The animal residents in “Asia: Trail of the Tiger” are continuing to receive the same quality of care from zookeepers and veterinary staff during this construction.
We will be excited to announce an official re-opening date soon!
Welcome back, Dara and Solaris! Our orangutans are back on exhibit starting today, February 23rd, 2023 as “Asia: Trail of the Tiger” continues renovations. You will be able to see them in their outdoor habitat. After short weather delays, our deck plank installation and roof replacement continue to progress smoothly. The animal residents in “Asia: Trail of the Tiger” are continuing to receive the same quality of care from zookeepers and veterinary staff during this construction.
Starting Monday, January 23rd and planning to continue for the next two weeks, the orangutans will be off exhibit as the bridge next to the exhibit is replaced. The boardwalk replacement project is moving along and on track to be completed by the Spring. The animal residents in “Asia: Trail of the Tiger” are continuing to receive the same quality of care from zookeepers and veterinary staff during this construction.
The boardwalk replacement project will provide needed updates for guests and staff, while also improving the guest experience and aesthetics. While the boardwalk is safe to walk on, it has experienced weather-related deterioration to its wooden boards and structure. These elements will be replaced with a durable and heat-resistant composite material. The Zoo is taking this opportunity to replace the entire boardwalk during the cooler months.
The animals that can generally be viewed along the boardwalk will not be viewable for the duration of the construction. Other animals on the trail such as the tigers, orangutans, moon bear, tapirs, otters, and more will remain on exhibit for guests. Because most of these animals are tropical or sub-tropical species, they will have access to indoor, off-exhibit warm areas and may choose to be inside.
During construction, general Zoo admission will be discounted to $11 for all ticket levels. This price accounts for both potential impacts on the guest experience due to construction, as well as a new seasonal discount the Zoo is piloting for our cooler winter months.
“Seasonal pricing is something we’ve been thinking about offering and with the timing of the construction, now seemed like the perfect time to test it,” says Executive Director Greg Bockheim. “Winter is still a great time to see animals, and we hope this opportunity will encourage more guests to enjoy an extra visit to the Zoo outside of our busier summer season.”