Renovations to the primate building at Utica Zoo are moving forward. The fund-raising campaign for the popular exhibit was announced in December 2015, and began with the bold statement of "We don't like it either." The goal for the first phase of the project was $350,000 and the zoo has currently raised a total of $364,787.52. The desire of visitors to the Utica Zoo for a more realistic habitat for the primates is becoming a reality.

The original building was constructed in 1927. It currently houses white-handed gibbons, Mexican spider monkeys, golden lion tamarin, and Argentine black and white tegu. Andria Heath is the Executive Director of Utica Zoo. According to a release Heath says that phase one construction will begin in the Spring of 2017. She says, "As the Utica Zoo pursues the vision described in the recently unveiled Dream Big Master Plan and accreditation with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, several changes are being made to the exhibits and grounds. Invariably we hear, this all looks great but what about the bars and tile in the primate building? We heard this loud and clear, and we acted! We are thrilled with the support we are receiving from our region and beyond."

Heath also said that this campaign was a huge success, in part, because of larger donations such as, a $25,000 kick off gift from Joan Sinnott, PhD and $25,000 from the Bank of Utica Foundation, $50,000 in state funding secured by Senator Joe Griffo, $20,000 from the Save of the Day Foundation, and a $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties. All the money raised for this project stays local, and will continue to preserve the Utica Zoo for years to come.

To make a tax-deductible contribution to Utica Zoo you can do one of the following:

  1. Mail: 1 Utica Zoo Way, Utica, NY 13501
  2. Phone: (315) 738-0475
  3. Online: uticazoo.org/donate
  4. In person: Utica Zoo Gift Shop

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