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Topeka Zoo faces challenges before opening new exhibit

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) - The Topeka Zoo is set to open Camp Cowabunga to the public Friday. However, they've faced some challenges along the way.

As the staff began prepping for the grand opening, they noticed some problems.

Ostriches in the exhibit were smaller than expected and escaped their enclosure twice.

The staff had to make changes to the space to better accommodate their small size.

On top of that, the guinea fowl featured in the mixed species exhibit have a parasite that will keep them out of the exhibit for about two weeks.

Zoo director Brendan Wiley said they always anticipate these types of challenges. 

"We know that's just part of what we do. Sometimes we describe working with animals, you know, it's a roller coaster. Sometimes, there's lows but there's also highs," said Wiley.

The staff has also expressed concern for Sunda the elephant and her declining health. 

She will undergo an evaluation Thursday.

"She has other issues going on, so we have to evaluate her quality of life at this point. She is a geriatric elephant," said zoo veterinarian Dr. Shirley Lizzo.

Wiley said he and his staff have remained optimistic despite all the challenges.




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