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Grand Entrance for The Birmingham Zoo

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From left: Cissy Jackson, former Chair, Birmingham Zoo Board of Directors; Robert Aland, Chair, Birmingham Zoo, Board of Directors; Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin; F. Dixon Brooke, Jr., Renew the Zoo Capital Campaign Chair and Chris Pfefferkorn, president and CEO, the Birmingham Zoo. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times)
Story by: Ameera Steward
Photos by: Amarr Croskey

The Birmingham Zoo last week introduced one of its newest improvements with a press conference and ribbon cutting. The grand opening of the New Arrival Experience and Welcome Plaza includes the Hugh Kaul Plaza, a first-aid station, administrative offices, rental space, a larger gift shop, a new membership office and the Altec/Styslinger Learning Center.

Mayor Randall Woodfin called the Birmingham Zoo one of the best public-private partnerships in the city.

“Presentation is everything, and it’s this new front entrance facility that epitomizes that,” said Woodfin. “It adds to the fun; it adds to the wonder and the excitement that comes with the visit to our zoo. Birmingham is home of the largest zoo in our state with a history that dates back well over 60 years.”

Chris Pfefferkorn, CEO of the zoo, said the community support for the zoo “is unlike any other I’ve seen in the five zoos that I’ve worked in my almost 30-year career . . . We are called the Birmingham Zoo and we’re proud to be the Birmingham Zoo, but we are here not only for the Birmingham area but we’re here for the state of Alabama. And we look forward to growing and continuing to be that asset.”