Garrett Payne

Zoo keeper Garrett Payne shared some big plans with kids participating in the library’s program for all ages at Utility Park Zoo.

Plans for the zoo include removing all of the old and antiquated cages near the corn cribs that currently house monkeys. That will make way for new exhibits, with animals currently housed in the old cages finding new homes in new spaces.

On the other side of the bear exhibit to the west, the zoo will bring in a cheetah to house in the big cat exhibit, which Payne said they hope to have in the fall, or by next spring at the latest.

An exhibit to house wallabees is planned just east of the bear exhibit.

The next big project for the zoo is to build an entry building, which will go near the new lemur/monkey building, approximately where the big gate is now located.

Eventually, the zoo will add more, to include a bird sanctuary to the west.

Kids were disappointed, though, that animals like elephants, giraffes and tigers won’t likely ever have a home at Utility Park -- primarily because of the expense and space required to house them.