The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium this week welcomed a few new, rather tall residents. Three-year-old giraffes Conner and Dasher arrived at the Zoo on Monday and are currently in quarantine, awaiting the completion of their new home, the Heart of Africa exhibit, which is being built by Messer.
The $30.4 million, 43-acre exhibit is slated to open this summer and will feature about 100 animals, including giraffes, zebras, monkeys and African lions. Up close and personal experiences with the animals – hand feeding giraffes and zip-lining across the savannah, for example – make the exhibit unique and will set it apart the standard. As renowned zookeeper and the Columbus Zoo’s director emeritus Jack Hannah put it, the exhibit is “something that’s not been done before.”
The arrival of Conner and Dasher marks the first time since 2005 that the Zoo has housed giraffes. The two were previously at the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek, Michigan.