Over 1,250 area residents visited the Sunset Zoo on Saturday for Water Safari and Kids’ Free Day. Children received free admission all day long and guests enjoyed Water Safari activities throughout the afternoon. The Manhattan Fire Department brought a truck out and cooled guests with an aerial hose. Guests also enjoyed family friendly activities Zoo-wide including a kiddos water area, mist zones and more!
“The community just loves it. The Fire Department comes in, they spray kids down in the middle of the zoo. We’ve got mist zones throughout the zoo. We’ve got animal enrichment, so we’ve got things we’re cooling down the animals with today, activity stations all through out the zoo, bubbles, so its just a really fun day to come to the zoo and cool-off a little bit,” said Ella Casey, Marketing and Development Officer for the Sunset Zoo.
Sunset Zoo’s animal ambassadors made an appearance and presented free, Zoo Ambassador Programs featuring live animal encounters. Community members were also treated to special water-themed keeper chats & animal feedings at several of the exhibits throughout the afternoon.
2013 marks the 80th year of operation for the Sunset zoo. The future looks promising as leadership is developing a plan to take the zoo (to borrow Disney’s and Buzz Lightyear’s famous words), “To infinity, and beyond!”.
“We are an accredited zoo through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums; and to maintain that accreditation, one of the pieces of that puzzle is making sure that we are being strategic and have a master plan. The master plan is basically an opportunity for us to go out into the community and talk to the community about what they want to see at their zoo and what direction to go. Now we’re at the point where we’re talking about doing a new master plan. So in the next couple of years we will start that process again, and we hope the community really engages with us,” said Casey.
Next on the calender for the Sunset Zoo is the popular after-hours fundraiser, Brew at the Zoo, on Friday, August 23. This adults-only event is a unique evening inside the Zoo presented by Tallgrass Brewing Co; tickets are now on sale at SunsetZoo.com. To learn more about Sunset Zoo special events, visit SunsetZoo.com or call 785.587.APES.