Gateway Gazette

Calgary Zoo’s Prehistoric Park Gets A Makeover

Calgary Zoo - prehistoric parkIf you’re a fan of the Calgary Zoo, you’ll surely recognize one of its most iconic sections- Prehistoric Park. Dinosaurs at the zoo date back to the 1930’s and the current collection will be will be receiving a makeover this fall!

Beginning September 8th, the park will be closed to visitors to begin significant improvements, including paving the pathways, upgrading the lagoon, repairing the amphitheater, repainting many of the dinosaurs, updating some of the rock and safety barriers, cleaning up the shrubbery, and creating more open spaces to allow more interactive programming and concessions. As you may recall, in the zoo’s long-term Master Plan, the Prehistoric Park will be gradually changed to include new animal experiences; in the meantime we want to ensure the experience remains exceptional for our guests.

With a history that began in 1937, the Prehistoric Park was then called the Natural History Park and 56 dinosaur sculptures were introduced to the people of Calgary. These original dinosaur models were based on local Albertan fossils found in the Red Deer River valley, and included the famous Dinny The Dinosaur, a 120 ton model that to this day towers over the West end of the Zoo. Over the next 50 years the park was transformed multiple times until the early 1980’s, when the current Prehistoric Park was unveiled to the public, complete with rock and fauna that mimics the landscape enjoyed by the dinosaurs themselves.

These improvements are expected to take up to eight weeks, weather depending. Before it closes, come visit Prehistoric Park and experience some of Alberta’s history!

FAQ’S:

Why close now?

A: We chose the fall, as summertime is our busiest time. With Prehistoric Park having such narrow pathways, for our visitors’ safety and our staff, we chose to do it in the fall when children go back to school. Being that we are open every day of the year but 2 days, we have to choose a timeframe of least impact to our visitors and before the weather gets too cold.

Is there Boo at the Zoo this year as it was partly in Prehistoric Park in past years?

A: No, unfortunately Boo at the Zoo will not be returning this year. The event is under evaluation for the near future.

How long will Prehistoric Park be closed?

A: The park will be closed for about 8 weeks, starting on September 8th, 2014. The construction is weather depending.

Does this affect the Master Plan?

A: Our Master Plan has not changed at this time but the timing of certain components may change as we move through our planning. We are sure you’d agree that Prehistoric Park needs some TLC and we want our visitors to enjoy it for as long as they can.

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