Hattiesburg Zoo unveiling new exhibits during Birthday Bash - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Hattiesburg Zoo unveiling new exhibits during Birthday Bash

Monday, the Hattiesburg Zoo gave WDAM the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at new exhibits coming to the zoo this weekend. It is a part of their annual birthday bash, and this year's event will take on a pink theme.

For 63 years, the Hattiesburg Zoo has brought a world of exotic animals to the Hub City. This coming Saturday, they plan to celebrate this milestone.

"Every year we hold our birthday bash, as we call it, based on the zoo opening on Easter Sunday back in 1950," explained Rick Taylor, Executive Director of the Hattiesburg Convention Commission.

This is the third year for the zoos birthday bash, and as they have done in the past, they plan to unveil several new exhibits. This year's theme, Pretty in Pink, is centered around the new main attraction, 22 Chilean flamingo acquired for Zoo Atlanta.

"This Saturday we will be opening our flamingo exhibit, which we are in front of. As well as adding to our petting zoo, a Zebu exhibit. Zebu are a small cattle from Africa," said Taylor.

As the zoo continues to grow, they are working towards the goal of self-sufficiency. For many years, the zoo has operated on subsides from the city of Hattiesburg.

"The convention commission entered into an agreement in 2009 with the city to begin to operate the zoo, to begin to push its marketing. Try to move to self-sufficiency. We had a 5 year plan for that, but last May, we could see the light at the end of the tunnel," explained Taylor.

They described running a zoo in a city the size of Hattiesburg as a unique challenge. But, it's with new exhibits like they are unveiling Saturday, they hope to grow towards their goal.

"We have made great progress. We have been able to increase income and reduce expense to reduce to subsidy for the zoo about $400,000," said Taylor. "So we are still about $450,000 in terms of subsidy, but it's headed the right way, and we think these new attractions will help bring new people in and continue that trend."

The Hattiesburg Zoo's birthday bash will be from 10 am till 4 pm this Saturday. Tickets can be purchased for $10.

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Laurel man facing drug, burglary charges

    Laurel man facing drug, burglary charges

    Monday, July 24 2017 4:22 PM EDT2017-07-24 20:22:57 GMT
    Frederick Cooley. Source: LPDFrederick Cooley. Source: LPD

    A Laurel man is facing burglary and drug charges after a incident last week.  

    More >>

    A Laurel man is facing burglary and drug charges after a incident last week.  

    More >>
  • Laurel man charged with fraud

    Laurel man charged with fraud

    Monday, July 24 2017 4:20 PM EDT2017-07-24 20:20:49 GMT
    John Umstead. Photo courtesy of Jones County Sheriff's Dept.John Umstead. Photo courtesy of Jones County Sheriff's Dept.
    A Jones County man has been charged with fraud after reportedly using a false identity to collect funds. Jones County Sheriff's Investigators said John Umstead, 49, of Laurel was working under a contract with a medical  coding company using another's identity. Investigators were made aware of the possibly fraudulent activity on June 22, according to a press release from the Jones County Sheriff's Department.  An ongoing investigation found that Umstead collected money...More >>
    A Jones County man has been charged with fraud after reportedly using a false identity to collect funds. Jones County Sheriff's Investigators said John Umstead, 49, of Laurel was working under a contract with a medical  coding company using another's identity. Investigators were made aware of the possibly fraudulent activity on June 22, according to a press release from the Jones County Sheriff's Department.  An ongoing investigation found that Umstead collected money...More >>
  • Couple charged with residential burglary

    Couple charged with residential burglary

    Monday, July 24 2017 3:41 PM EDT2017-07-24 19:41:05 GMT
    Aubrey Goff. Source: FCSOAubrey Goff. Source: FCSO

    A couple has been charged with residential burglary, according to the Forrest County Sheriff's Office.  

    More >>

    A couple has been charged with residential burglary, according to the Forrest County Sheriff's Office.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly