When the new Gorilla Forest opens in early June at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory in St. Paul, visitors will be able to see seven gorillas in an improved indoor exhibit space and in a much larger outdoor area. Recently, three new female gorillas were added to the existing exhibit. (MPR Photo/Jennifer Simonson)
ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Como Park Zoo reached a milestone in its 10-year expansion plan with the opening of a new $2.8 million wing at its Conservatory this weekend, and more change is coming.
Up next for the 100-year-old zoo is Gorilla Forest. Its grand opening is scheduled for June 6.
Minnesota Public Radio reports the $11 million state-funded project will roughly triple the space for the 100-year-old zoo's giant apes. It features new wonders like ponds and waterfalls for a gorilla population that has grown to seven.
Zoo officials say seven out of 10 Como visitors come at least partly because the zoo is free. In 2010 Como had 2.2 million visitors, the most for any cultural institution in Minnesota. More than three-fourths were people who lived outside St. Paul.
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