North Carolina Zoo

First Zoo City StrEAT Fest set for Asheboro

First Zoo City StrEAT Fest set for Asheboro

ASHEBORO – This weekend’s inaugural Zoo City StrEAT Fest in downtown Asheboro is a celebration of several ventures. Addie Corder, executive director of Downtown Asheboro Inc., said it’s a chance to recognize North Carolina Zoo’s 50th anniversary along with outdoor activities. There will be outdoor dining, a pop-up farmers’ market and themes associated with Earth Day. “We’ve been able to have so many activities associated with this,” Corder said of StrEAT Fest, which runs from 5-8 p.m. Saturday. North Carolina Zoo will provide education and interactive activities connected to conservation and wildlife. Corder said it’s a truly family-oriented event with…
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North Carolina Zoo to send flamingos to South Carolina

North Carolina Zoo to send flamingos to South Carolina

Flamingos will be leaving North Carolina Zoo. (Photo courtesy of NC Zoo)   ASHEBORO – Flamingos are leaving the North Carolina Zoo. A flock of 15 Chilean flamingos will be moved to the Greenville Zoo in South Carolina by late September. A “Farewell Flamingos” event was held Saturday at the zoo. Some of the flamingos in the flock are from the original flock that arrived at the zoo in August 1982. The aviary closed in April 2022 because of its age. In order to demolish the building that housed the aviary, the flamingos had to be moved, according to information…
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Zoo looks to address parking pinch

Zoo looks to address parking pinch

ASHEBORO — High attendance on some spring days has created parking issues for North Carolina Zoo. The NC Zoo Council heard details of the situation during last week’s meeting. Zoo director Pat Simmons said there could be plans to expand parking ahead of opening the new Asia exhibit to relieve some of the parking headaches. The Zoo has issued the following advisory: “For your safety and guest experience, the Zoo may need to limit parking once the lots are full. We typically reopen the parking lots once guests start leaving and spaces open.” Some of the parking pinches have come…
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NC Zoo Evacuated Due to Bomb Threat

NC Zoo Evacuated Due to Bomb Threat

ASHEBORO – The North Carolina Zoo closed Monday because of a security threat, the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office and zoo reported. A bomb threat had been received at about 10:47 a.m. through electronic means and reported to law enforcement from a representative of North Carolina Zoo. A juvenile has been identified as the subject of the threat. Visitors and staff were evacuated. Later, zoo officials announced that 1,372 guests were evacuated. Emergency crews were called to the zoo. Law enforcement officials conducted a search of the zoo grounds. By 1:39 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office completed its work at the scene.…
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NC Zoo Council approves ticket price increase

NC Zoo Council approves ticket price increase

The N.C. Zoo Council recently voted to approve an increase in the cost of admission to the North Carolina Zoo. The council, which is comprised of 15 members appointed by the governor to oversee the operation and development of the zoo, held a virtual meeting to discuss the matter on February 8. According to Pat Simmons, Director and CEO of the North Carolina Zoo, “zoo funding comes 50% from the State with the other 50% from gate ticket sales,” but the cost of running the zoo has gone up over the years. Revenue from ticket sales has not grown to…
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Lion adjusts to NC Zoo

Lion adjusts to NC Zoo

Haji is settling in at the North Carolina Zoo. Haji, a male lion, came to the zoo in Asheboro in early December. He was designated to be a new companion to a female lion, Mekita. The zoo last week provided information that pointed out that Haji had his first steps in his new habitat. Haji and Meita are alternating schedules in the habitat as they get to know each other. Haji is almost three years old. He was born at Audubon Zoo in New Orleans. Haji means “journey.” Also, the zoo will be closed Jan. 23-27 for staff training and…
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North Carolina Zoo takes next steps for Asia exhibit

North Carolina Zoo takes next steps for Asia exhibit

NC Zoo director Pat Simmons, center, high-fives state Sen. David Craven Jr., who reaches over Randolph County commissioner Darrell Frye, during Wednesday's groundbreaking. (Scott Pelkey/North State Journal) ASHEBORO – North Carolina Zoo is moving closer to Asia after the groundbreaking for a new exhibit. The 10-acre Asian expansion is a few years away from being opened, but the next steps were evident when regional and state officials gathered Wednesday for the ceremonial start to the process. “Asia has been a long time coming,” said Walker Moffitt, chair of the North Carolina Zoo Council and Asheboro mayor pro tem. This is…
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NC Zoo hits new milestone for attendance

NC Zoo hits new milestone for attendance

Visitors celebrate the 48th birthday of C’sar, an African elephant, on Monday morning at North Carolina Zoo, where officials have reported record attendance during the past year. (PJ Ward-Brown/Randolph Record) ASHEBORO — The North Carolina Zoo has been busier than ever this past year. The NC Zoo announced for the fiscal year ending June 30 that more than 1 million visitors entered the gates. The previous high for a fiscal year was 879,990 in 2018-19, based on numbers listed in the announcement. “We’re thrilled to welcome so many guests from North Carolina and around the world,” NC Zoo director Pat…
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Zoo hooks up more hiking options

Zoo hooks up more hiking options

ASHEBORO — Another trail opened during the weekend as part of the North Carolina Zoo’s system and this one has a theme that might intrigue many folks in Randolph County. The grand opening of the completed Purgatory Mountain Trail Network was held as part of Saturday’s National Trails Day. A moonshining component was highlighted as part of the weekend hike. That seemed appropriate to Randolph County commissioner Hope Haywood. “If we think about history and culture, the moonshine trail is also closely connected to another part of our culture, which is the pottery culture here,” she said. “Our potters got…
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Zoo closes aviary habitat

Zoo closes aviary habitat

ASHEBORO — The North Carolina Zoo announced it would permanently close its aviary habitat. First built in the early 1980s, the 40-year-old domed structure requires significant repairs due to the effects of high humidity and wet conditions, according to the NC Zoo. The decision to close and take down the habitat was made by the zoo leadership and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “For 40 years, the Zoo’s aviary offered a special place to connect with nature,” NC Zoo director Pat Simmons said. “The free-flying birds and tropical plants served as an oasis for many people –…
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