You may have thought New Jersey was crazy after seeing episode of the Jersey Shore, but it’s about to get a whole lot more wild…literally. Officials announced Wednesday that a new lion and hyena exhibit will soon be coming to Essex County’s Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange.
Costing $3.6 million, the new lion and hyena house will part of the African Adventure exhibit near the Giraffe House. The area is being designed to “resemble a North African fortress that has been returned to the wild” and will be a half-acre in size. But, don’t worry about it being too big to see the wildlife. There will be three public viewing stations with heated stone patios to “attract the lions so they can be easily seen,” officials revealed.
“We are very excited about bringing lions and hyenas to Turtle Back Zoo because they are the animals that people most identify with the African Savanna,” Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. said. “In addition, a lion is the central figure on our county seal, so we are pleased about bringing the real-life version here.”
The new addition will certainly make the already popular zoo more of an attraction, making it another great place to take your kid on a play date. The zoo is already home to lots of animals like monkeys and penguins and recently introduced giraffes to its line up. You don’t even have to leave the state to take your tot on a safari!
Construction has already started and is scheduled to be completed by the spring of 2017.