Home News Local News Donation to help fund mountain lion exhibit

Donation to help fund mountain lion exhibit

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From left, Roswell Director of Parks and Recreation Jim Burress claps as Spring River Zoo Superintendent Marge Woods accepts a $50,000 donation from Sue Weston, president of Friends of the Spring River Zoo. Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh, far right, called the zoo “a tremendous asset to the community.” The presentation was made during intermission of the Roswell Symphony Orchestra Labor Day Concert Monday evening. The money will go toward a new interim mountain lion exhibit at the zoo. (Alex Ross Photo)

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The city and the Spring River Park & Zoo received a $50,000 donation during the Roswell Symphony Orchestra Labor Day Concert on Monday, to be used for a new interim mountain lion exhibit.

Sue Weston, president of Friends of the Spring River Zoo, an organization tasked with raising money for the zoo, presented Marge Woods, zoo superintendent, and Roswell Parks and Recreation Director Jim Burress with a large replica check during the intermission portion of Monday’s concert.

In remarks before the check was presented, Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh called the zoo, “a tremendous asset to the community.”

The money will go toward the zoo’s interim mountain lion exhibit, which will be home to the mountain lions until a more permanent exhibit can be constructed.

The new exhibit will consist of a grass surface, a water feature and a climbing area for the lions, Woods said.

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“It is something the public is really going to like — they will be able to see them (the mountain lions) from all angles,” she said.

The interim exhibit will also afford the mountain lions more space, Wood added.

Burress said blueprints for the interim exhibit have already been drawn up, and the project will soon be up for bid. He said engineers will be up at the site next week to survey the proposed site’s infrastructure.

The city received its first large scale donation for the enlarged mountain lion exhibit in June — $10,000 from the Southern New Mexico Safari Club International (SNM-SCI).

The improved temporary exhibit area was part of a broader masterplan to improve the zoo approved in March by the city council.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.