HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - If you've passed by the Hattiesburg Zoo lately, you've probably noticed the new giraffe exhibit being built there.
Most of the building exteriors are complete and work on the interior finishes has begun, including outfitting each area for its purpose.
The new giraffe exhibit will be able to accommodate several giraffes and possibly a few other type of animals from Africa.
Inside the giraffe barn, feeding stations are being installed, which will be at the height of about 12 feet. Refrigeration, sinks, tables and other equipment will be installed over the next couple of months.
The new facility will also feature a new cantina, sponsored by Keithco, and a new special events pavilion.
The cantina will be outfitted with restaurant kitchen equipment while above, there will be a special reception area with a range of outdoor lounge seating, a communal table, and an outdoor bar and grill.
A new hyena exhibit is also nearing completion along with the addition of a fourth tiger viewing area.
Rick Taylor, executive director for the Hattiesburg Convention Commission, said the new giraffe exhibit is expected to open by the end of 2020 and excitement about opening day is already starting to grow.
“We knew that this space was appropriate for this, but we did not realize the power of being on this road,” Taylor said. “The number of people who have driven by and just seen the construction, has prompted them to ask us directly about it and leads me to believe that its going to be just an overwhelming crowd and that really excites us.”
One of the final steps is to replace the fence near Hardy Street with a taller, more attractive perimeter fence to complement the new facilities. The new fencing will fit within the City’s beautification plan for Hardy Street.