Seneca Park Zoo recently announced the arrival of the first new species for its “Animals of the Savanna” expansion slated to open this summer.
The animal, a rock hyrax, will temporarily live in the Main Zoo Building until the expansion is completed.
“2018 brings with it many great additions to our region’s famous Seneca Park Zoo,” said Cheryl Dinolfo, county executive. “We all are excited about the giraffes coming this summer, but many residents don’t know that the ‘Animals of the Savanna’ expansion will include over a dozen new species to our zoo family. The addition of the rock hyrax is an exciting sign of what is to come throughout the year.”
The female rock hyrax was born in 2017 at the Bronx Zoo. A male partner will join her later this spring.
“The arrival of the rock hyrax is the culmination of a great deal of behind-the-scenes planning for the expansion,” said Larry Sorel, zoo director. “The staff at the zoo has been working tirelessly on animal moves for the past year, and coordinating with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to create clear plans for incoming and outgoing animals in alignment with the species survival plan is no small undertaking.”
Rock hyrax are a small mammal native to sub-Saharan Africa. One of its closest living relatives is the elephant, which is surprising given their small plump shape and stubby legs.
“The arrival of the rock hyrax is a visible sign that change is on the horizon,” said Pamela Reed Sanchez, executive director of Seneca Park Zoo Society. “The Zoo Society is actively raising funds through the A Wilder Vision campaign to support the zoo’s transformation and ensure the best experiences for our guests.”
The zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visitors can stay on grounds until 4 p.m.