Old Zoo, New Tricks

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The Bronx Zoo is in the process of renovating Astor Court, which dates from the 265-acre zoo's early years. The $6.7 million face lift, which is taking place in stages, includes a 22,000-square-foot mall, an Italian garden of boxwoods and roses, the Rockefeller Fountain, and "a suite of Beaux-Arts-style buildings." More notably, the Lion House, which first opened in 1903, will be unlatching its doors next year after being closed for nearly two decades.

The 40,000-square foot, $49 million exhibit on Madagascar—expect to see a 13-foot Nile crocodile and ring-tailed lemurs, among others—will be restored in accordance to the environmental guidelines of the U.S. Green Building Council, a nonprofit organization involved in sustainable building design and construction.One earth-friendly innovation is a storage-and-filtration system that recycles water from the zoo's laboratories, saving more than 140,000 gallons of water a year.

You'll also find many of the zoo's lights replaced with energy-saving Victorian reproduction lighting. In addition, the slatted benches will be swapped out for sturdier wrought-iron-and-wood versions. Who says you can't teach old zoos new tricks? :: The New York Times

Tags: Animals | Conservation | New York City

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