September 5, 2019

Denver Zoo to Close Bird World on Oct. 1

45-Year-Old Exhibit’s Closure Will Allow Exciting New Developments to Take Flight


When it opened in 1973, Bird World was a feather in Denver Zoo’s cap. The $1.25 million exhibit—the most expensive installation at the time—featured open, natural habitats, and five different heating and cooling systems provided ideal conditions for more than 100 different species of rare, colorful birds. Bird World made guests a part of the birds’ environment, and served as a great home to countless birds for more than four decades.

However, Bird World now needs extensive, costly repairs; no longer meets the needs of our animals and guests; and is below our current standards for efficiency and sustainability. Given these factors, the Zoo’s leadership made the difficult decision to close Bird World on Oct. 1, 2019 to proceed with future developments that will benefit our animals, staff and guests. Plans are being discussed for new animal habitats and guest experiences, and will be announced when they are finalized.

“Bird World has served the Zoo incredibly well over the last 45 years, but the time has come to prioritize its closure so we can move forward with our Master Plan,” said Bert Vescolani, president and CEO of Denver Zoo. “Due to its age and complex life support systems, Bird World is one of the Zoo’s biggest users of water and electricity. We can do better by our animals, guests and the environment by replacing it with new exhibits and experiences.”

In preparation for Bird World’s closing, our bird care team has already started relocating many of the 200 birds and other animals in Bird World to other existing facilities within the Zoo, as well as to other approved facilities that meet our high standards of care. Many popular species, including Linne’s two-toed sloths and African penguins, will remain at the Zoo, and guests will still be able to view and interact with many bird species at the flamingo habitat, Lorikeet Adventure, Nurture Trail, Forest Aviary in Primate Panorama, and elsewhere throughout the Zoo.

“We remain committed to maintaining a diverse, engaging group of bird species at the Zoo, and will also continue our important work breeding, rearing and providing exceptional care for essential bird species in our Avian Propagation Center,” said Senior Vice President for Animal Sciences Brian Aucone. “The closure of Bird World is bittersweet, but there are a lot of reasons to be excited for what’s coming next.”

Guests are encouraged to visit Bird World before it closes on Oct. 1. The building is scheduled to be razed in early 2020, with details about plans for new exhibits to come soon. Follow Denver Zoo on Zoo Tales, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the latest news and updates.





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