Minot Zoo Getting Closer to Opening | VideoJenny Castro | 7/5/2012
Now that the visitor center building is open at the Roosevelt Park Zoo it will be easier for staff to get the campus ready.
"Beautiful building, and we`re just trying to figure out where all the closets are and how the doors open and things like that still,” said Director David Merritt.
"That`s been nice to actually be kind of on zoo grounds everyday instead of having to go to the auditorium and to the warehouse we have for the animals,” said Zookeeper Sarah Schoenberg, who has worked at the Roosevelt Park Zoo for seven years.
Although it`s been a year since the flood waters receded, this is has been an extensive project to tackle. There`s still work to be done with water, electricity and the other buildings on the grounds.
"In many ways things look so good, through volunteer efforts and so forth, but other than this building we have no other building complete," said Merritt.
Right now, the clinic building is about halfway done. Contractors are moving in on the northern side of the river and they`re putting together a bid for the other buildings. For the zoo staff, they`ve had a strong core pushing along the progress.
"In the past year, I bet we`ve changed their schedules 18 times to meet the different needs we have here and there. They`re the rock, they`re great,” said Merritt.
"You`re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It`s actually looking like it`s feasible, like we are coming back, we are here again,” said Schoenberg.
About 40 of the animals are staying in a warehouse north of town and the rest in places all around the country. With those animals in mind, the zoo staff is working hard to get them back at home.
Merritt says there will be a formal announcement on the zoo status early next week. They also want to remind everyone that although their gates are open sometimes, the zoo is still closed to the public right now.