FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Hutchinson Friends of the Zoo receives Gift for New Bison Experience
Hutchinson, Kansas – January 5, 2022 – Hutchinson Friends of the Zoo (FOTZ) and the Hutchinson Zoo are excited to announce a new project. On Tuesday, January 4, Hutchinson City Council unanimously approved a plan to develop a bison viewing area in the Hutchinson Zoo. The project is funded by the generous donation of the Power Family and through fundraising by the Hutchinson Friends of the Zoo.
The Hutchinson Zoo is home to a herd of American Buffalo, also known as Bison. In September 2021, Dan and Shirley Power donated their hand-raised 15-year-old male bison, Norman, to the Zoo collection. Dan and Shirley have been long-time supporters and friends of the Hutchinson Zoo. After conversations with Zoo leadership about creating a bison viewing and feeding experience for Zoo guests, Mr. Power has committed to donating over $100,000 to cover the area’s construction. One of the largest gifts by an individual that the Hutchinson Zoo has ever received. Hutchinson FOTZ will raise the remaining $80,000 over the next two years to complete this project.
The zoo’s bison herd resides in a wooded pasture on the southeast end of the Zoo. Guest viewing is currently at a distance - across the lagoon or outside the Zoo’s perimeter fence on Blanchard Street. These large mammals inspire awe and wonder. With this opportunity, the Zoo will provide a unique guest experience of the Kansas State Mammal and our nation’s National Mammal.
The bison viewing will continue the renovation of the south end of the Zoo, adjacent to the new otter exhibit which opened in October of 2020. This project will allow Zoo guests to see bison up-close and provide viewing of the adjacent pronghorn and white-tailed deer. The creation of this area will lay the groundwork for the Zoo’s next masterplan expansion, a prairie exhibit.
About the Hutchinson Zoo:
Located in Carey Park, the Zoo’s collection includes over 160 animals. Many are species native to the North American Prairie ecosystem. The Zoo’s most significant conservation effort, Cargill Wild Care Center and wildlife rehabilitation program treats approximately 700 animals annually.