MANHATTAN, Kan. –On Sunday, April 22, Sunset Zoo will unveil its newest animal addition – a pair of white-handed gibbons – as part of the Zoo’s Earth Day 2012: A Party for the Planet & Primates 2! Zoo gates will open at 9:30am with family-friendly activities from Noon to 4:30pm, including the Zoo’s Bounce House, National Guard’s Rock Climbing Wall and Walgreen’s Photo Booth. A public dedication ceremony will take place at 1:00pm.
The gibbon pair will reside in the newly constructed John Woodard Memorial Gibbons Exhibit located along the Asian Forest Trail. Gibbons are an active primate species from Southeast Asia most known for their brachiation movement – swinging arm over arm to quickly sail through the treetops. This exhibit will allow Zoo guests to see the “animals in action”, walking out onto an upper viewing deck for a tree-line view or stroll through the lower viewing plaza at ground level.
The new exhibit was made possible through the generosity of local dentist Dr. Rich Woodard and his family. The project, which began construction in the summer of 2011, is named in memory of their late son John who had a love for animals and Sunset Zoo.
As part of the grand opening festivities, Friends of Sunset Zoo members are also invited to a members-only sneak peek on Saturday, April 21 from 1:00-3:00pm. Guided tours of the new exhibit will depart from the Zoo’s Pavilion throughout the afternoon; current FOSZ members must pre-register for a scheduled tour time by visiting www.SunsetZoo.com and clicking on the “Earth Day 2012” link on the left-side of the page.
Regular Zoo admission rates apply for Earth Day 2012. Additionally, construction is wrapping up on the Zoo’s new entryway facility, the Nature Exploration Center, scheduled to open on Sunday, June 3. Parking will be limited for Earth Day festivities, so guests are encouraged to carpool or depending on weather, park in the field across from the Zoo’s main lot. To learn more about the exhibit, visit www.SunsetZoo.com or call 785.587.APES.