Durazno, Uruguay reopens the doors to its zoo this week after a year and a half of renovations, the city’s mayor, Carmelo Vidalin said.
Over the last year, the former Washington Rodriguez Piquinela Zoo has been transformed into an animal reserve, home to approximately 500 specimens and 250 species of animals, birds, and reptiles.
Among the zoo's prized inhabitants are its hippopotami, coati, and yacare caiman, however, the conservation considers its big cats' high priority. The reserve houses lions, tigers, pumas, and jaguars, all of which are considered endangered in Uruguay.
Additionally, the zoo also includes Uruguay’s first Enrichment Center dedicated to research and education of the public about the varied animals residing within the limits of the property.
The renovations, said to be the first of many, provided the facility with an extension of 16 hectares.
The decision was made after a report from the Environment and Animal Welfare Commission Center reported many of the zoo’s inhabitants showed signs of stress and loneliness.
The zoo is not the only area getting a makeover. Other abandoned buildings around the city of Durazno are also scheduled to be repurposed with thousands of dollars in investments supporting the initiative, department managers say.