New additions coming to Lincoln Children’s Zoo

Published: Jul. 1, 2020 at 8:41 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2020 at 10:15 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln Children’s Zoo is officially announcing a few new additions, including the much anticipated Cheetah Run and an elephant-themed playground.

Starting on Monday, July 6 you can check out two new exhibits: cheetahs and anteaters, as well as a huge elephant play structure for children.

Coming from a zoo in Chicago, a giant male anteater named "Asterix" is now making the Lincoln Children's Zoo his new home. Zoo CEO John Chapo tells 10/11 Asterix weighs about 88 pounds and won't stop growing anytime soon.

A 26-feet elephant playground named "Ellie" is going to be a new hot spot for kids at the zoo. The playground includes cargo nets, wind chimes and a slide that'll spray kids with water once they reach the bottom. Ellie will also have peeking spots where kids will be able to see the Capitol building and parts of the zoo like never before.

"The kids can go all the way up inside of her and through her belly and slide down her large metal trunk. If you're a child with cochlear implants, this is not a plastic slide. This is the real deal. This is a metal slide, so it's great for everybody here."

Also joining the crew are three cheetah sisters from St. Louis, weighing about 90 pounds each. They'll be part of the Cheetah Run which will open sometime later this year, allowing zoo guests to see cheetahs run down a 200-feet chase.

Chapo tells 10/11, "We can present more zoo for the kids and their families here in the community. We have more space to stretch people out."

All of the outdoor playgrounds at the zoo will re-open Monday, July 6, but the Secret Jungle and Splash Stream will remain closed.

In addition to all of that, the zoo is also building an event stage and tent able to fit about 1,000 guests for things like concerts in the zoo.

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