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Grand Opening of a Lake Pathway

Categories: Animals, Visitor Services
Lake Path
Guests exploring the lake pathway at Wild Affair

Guests at this year’s Wild Affair gala not only supported the nonprofit zoo by attending the annual fundraiser but were also the first to walk where no other guests have. They were the first to explore the new lake pathway.

Have you ever wanted to get a better look at some of the birds on the lakes at the zoo? Or maybe a different perspective that you could not quite attain? Now you can see the from a whole new vantage point. The Sacramento Zoo’s facilities team has completed a public walkway through the middle of the two lakes (did you know that it is actually two lakes? Most people think it is one!).

For the first time since the opening of the lake in the 1990’s, visitors can walk down a path between the zoo’s two lakes. The exhibits boast a variety of birds in different colors and sizes ranging from the larger American white pelicans and crested screamers to the brightly colored American flamingos and Orinoco geese.

Orinoco Goose
Orinoco geese on the lake

So why not just make it one big lake? The lakes were built with the mindset of having an African species lake exhibit and one for South American species. Over 25 years, animal species changes and other husbandry needs come to the forefront. So we have moved species, mixing and matching between the lake exhibits. By having two separate lakes we can better care for the animals that live there by providing some land space for each area. We can separate birds that do not get along or see each other as competition, and we can manage multiple flocks.

The lake pathway will be dedicated to the late Mary Healy. Mary was executive director and chief executive officer of the Sacramento Zoo for almost 15 years, she passed away in 2014. Mary was an avid bird lover and an active member of the Sacramento community who has left a great legacy at the Sacramento Zoo.

Next time you are at the zoo see how many bird species you can spot on the lake. Be sure to post your photos online and tag the zoo. Who knows, your photo might find its way into the next Maagizo!