Lion exhibit opens at Roosevelt Park Zoo

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MINOT, N.D. - The Roosevelt Park Zoo celebrated a monumental achievement today, the Lion exhibit is now open with both lions enjoying the nearly 16,000-square feet of space to roam.

After years of fundraising, work, and preparation, the Roosevelt Park Zoo lions have moved into their new home.

"This exhibit marks such an important initiative we are improving the quality of life for our animals but we are also elevating the quality of zoo for our community,” said Roosevelt Park Zoo Director Becky Dewitz .

The zoogoers say they are already loving the exhibit.

"It is hard to just put it into simple words. But it is just amazing. It is good to see them in a bigger habitat. It is better for them, better for our zoo and the community as well. You get that one on one to see how big these animals are. Why they are important to us,” said Chelsea Mihalick, lead African animals keeper.

The lions went from just over one thousand square feet of space to nearly 16 thousand feet, and that was quite an experience for them.

"She went right out checked everything out, checked out her neighbors the zebras and the bongos. Our male was a little bit more nervous it took him a little bit. He liked to stay on the rocks since they are not used to grass. So the grass feeling is a little bit different for him. He eventually did venture out. She has been up on Pride rock she's been everywhere,” said Mihalick.

With the ribbon cut, The lions' habitat is officially open.

"We are marking what our future will be for the Roosevelt Park Zoo. This exhibit is dynamic, it is going to be great for the animals. It is going to be great for our community. It is a game changer,” said Becky Dewitz.

You can see the Lions at the Roosevelt Park zoo all year long. The zoo is open right now form 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and in the winter they are open 10 a.m. to
3 p.m.