Tag Archives: Birmingham Zoo

On the agenda: Construction abound

A quick look over this morning’s Birmingham City Council agenda would not necessarily make you think of construction. However, it signals a great deal of construction and growth for the city, once you get down to the introduction and first readings section of today’s agenda.

A great deal of the items focus on the Ensley neighborhood. Item 19 provides $900,000 to move forward with plans to renovate and stabilize the Ramsay-McCormack Building in the Ensley neighborhood. Item 20 provides for $2 million to be used from the city’s Capital Improvement Fund to assist in completing the HOPE VI Tuxedo Court development in Ensley. Item 32 suggests that the scope of work associated with the project will now include a public park and developing a portion of the Ensley Trail.

Item 24 lets Mayor Langford provide $25,000 towards the $1 million commitment to Sloss Furnaces‘ new visitors center, with Item 28 allowing him to execute the project development contract.

There’s more, after the jump:

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Langford to suggest support for zoo expansion

Trails of Africa logoThis morning during Mayor Langford‘s  comments to the Birmingham City Council, he announced plans to present a proposed redevelopment agreement to councilors next week that would allow the Birmingham Zoo to begin work on its long planned expansion called Trails of Africa.

The mayor reported that the zoo, which is currently the state of Alabama’s #1 tourist attraction, has already raised more than $6 million for the 14-acre expansion but needs additional financial support to make it a reality. A report in The Birmingham News from September 2007 had zoo officials estimating the overall cost of the project at $15 million.

The City of Birmingham owns the zoo, but the property is operated by an independent 501©3 organization.

Image: Courtesy of Birmingham Zoo website

It’s time to name a giraffe again

Giraffe baby imageFor the second time in two years, visitors to the Birmingham Zoo will have a chance to vote in order to name a new giraffe. If you didn’t already know, a female reticulated giraffe was born on Monday. The newborn  and her 8-year-old mother, Juno, are doing well. The zoo’s hoping you’ll come out before August 13, visit the newborn and that while you’re there, cast your vote for her name. Forms will be available in the zoo’s membership office. The winner will be announced on August 15 on their website and the lucky person will win a behind the scenes tour for five people of the zoo’s Savannah area (including giraffe feeding), giraffe adoption in the winner’s name (including giraffe fact sheet, giraffe plush doll and photo) and a Birmingham Zoo t-shirt.

Last summer, Students in Ramsay High School’s Interact Club, a service and leadership organization sponsored by the Rotary Club, chose the name Jalil, meaning Honored One, for a male giraffe that had arrived last spring from San Francisco.

Photo credit: Birmingham Zoo

Babec, zoo favorite, euthanized

Babec the Gorilla - courtesy of Birmingham ZooFor those that have not yet heard, Babec, a gorilla in residence at the Birmingham Zoo and famous for being the first zoo animal to receive a pacemaker, was euthanized this earlier today. The Western Lowland gorilla was 27 years old.

According to reports published on both The Birmingham News and NBC 13 websites, he had been showing signs of discomfort in recent weeks, including loss of appetite.