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Potter Park Zoo to receive $10 million from state to update feline and primate building

View from the entrance of the Potter Park Zoo's feline and primate building
Potter Park Zoo
Potter Park Zoo will use funding made available from the state budget to renovate its feline and primate building.

Updated on July 8 at 4:51 p.m. ET

Lansing’s Potter Park Zoo plans to upgrade its feline and primate building. That’s after the zoo was allocated $10 million in funding from the state budget.

The Potter Park Zoo opened in 1920. The Feline and Primate House was built a decade later. One of the last major renovations of the building was in 1989.

Amy Morris-Hall is the executive director of the Potter Park Zoological Society. She says the money will go toward bringing the building into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

"We’ve been here for over a hundred years, so we’re a huge and impactful presence in the community and to have a commitment like this on the part of our lawmakers has been just wonderful and flattering," Morris-Hall said.

Funds will also be used to improve the space's animal habitats. The building currently houses an African lion, an Amur tiger, a snow leopard, ring-tailed lemurs and spider monkeys.

“We’ll be building a new cat holding area. We’re renovating the outdoor cat exhibits. We’re renovating and expanding the indoor and primate exhibits,” Morris-Hall said.

The goal is to make the zoo more modern and enhance the guest experience to be more accessible and natural in public areas.

The renovated space will also allow the zoo to have more indoor space for classes and programs during the winter.

Morris-Hall said the zoo is still in the early stages of its planning process and that a timeline for the renovation has not been determined yet.

Melorie Begay is the local producer and host of Morning Edition.
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