Six years ago, the zoo closed the Night Exhibit that housed dozens of nocturnal animals. Now, zoo staff say they're planning to reopen a renovated display to showcase the animals from bats to sloths.

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In 2018, Woodland Park Zoo plans to turn the lights back on in a dark exhibit it closed six years ago.

Due to financial troubles during the recent recession, the zoo closed the Night Exhibit that housed more than 60 nocturnal animals, from bats to sloths. Now, zoo staff say they’ve secured long-term funding to help reopen the popular display after a two-year renovation project, totaling between $3 and $4 million.

Artist’s rendering depicts where daytime visitors adjust their eyes to darkness. Image courtesy Woodland Park Zoo.
Artist’s rendering depicts where daytime visitors adjust their eyes to darkness. Image courtesy Woodland Park Zoo.

Since the closure, zoo staff relocated some of the exhibit’s animals to other facilities and moved others to places elsewhere at Woodland, according to post on the zoo’s blog. They have yet to decide what nocturnal species will live in the renovated space when it opens, the post says.

As in the original exhibit, the lights will be off during the day. Designers are in the early stages of renovating, though they’re considering new additions, such as a night-vision station and digital signage to help people around the animals, the post says.

After the reopening announcement, fans of the exhibit shared an outpouring of excitement on Facebook. Commenters shared fond memories with their families checking out the exhibit’s animals, many of whom said the display was the highlight of their zoo trips.

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