The City of Boise contributed $100,000 from the unspent portion of last year's Parks and Recreation Department budget, spokeswoman Amy Stahl said. Friends of Zoo Boise, the zoo's fundraising arm, collected the remaining $119,000.
Stahl said the zoo will begin looking for a contractor "right away." The zoo expects construction to start this spring. Its three Patas monkeys - one male, Incas, and two sisters, DJ and Kibibi - are expected to move into the new exhibit in the fall.
Once again, Boise citizens have shown their compassion and commitment by coming together to create a positive outcome for our community, Mayor David Bieter said. I commend the Friends of Zoo Boise for quickly raising contributions for this important exhibit and look forward to seeing its three new residents move in later this year.
Zoo Boise became the subject of international news in November when Cratey, a male Patas monkey who grew up with Incas, died following a break-in at the zoo. Police say Michael Watkins, 22, jumped a fence and clubbed Cratey, who died shortly thereafter. Watkins is charged with felony burglary and grand theft. He's scheduled for a preliminary hearing Thursday.
Friends of Zoo Boise pledged in December to raise money for a new, 1,000-square-foot indoor Patas exhibit for the three animals. Zoo officials now hope to have the new building finished by fall.
Depending on the weather, the monkeys would alternate between the indoor area and an outdoor enclosure that will be expanded after the zoo demolishes its existing Primate House in a few years. The Primate House, where Incas currently lives, was built in 1967
Last month, DJ and Kibibi arrived from the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York.
Upon completion of a quarantine period in February, the females will be placed in an enclosure within sight of the male. If they are compatible, all three monkeys will live together in the Primate House until the new exhibit is complete.
Patas monkeys are ground-dwelling animals from the plains of Africa. At 2 ½ feet, they typically weigh 35 pounds.
As part of its conservation mission, Zoo Boise has announced it will contribute 10 percent of project costs to the Wildlife Conservation Society for the preservation of patas monkey habitat in Yankari National Park in Africa.