The Alameda Park Zoo has faced vandalism over the past month, leading Alamogordo City officials to prioritize requesting funds through the Infrastructure Improvement Plan to ensure safety on site.
A break-in was reported on July 14 in which two duck feeders were ripped from the ground and thrown into the duck pond. No animals were injured in the incident.
Zoo officials estimated the cost of damage from this incident at around $500.
“We had a break-in about two weeks ago and they destroyed two duck feeders, then about a week ago someone broke into our aviary and stole a blue and gold macaw,” said said Alameda Park Zoo Director Kate Rogers. “Unfortunately we found the macaw, but it was deceased.”
The blue-and-gold macaw was a rescue that was an adult of unknown age when it came to the zoo. He was reported missing on July 18.
Macaws can cost up to $10,000 to purchase, depending on whether the bird is acquired through a breeder. They are also large birds that need large cages or an aviary to live comfortably. Macaws can live up to 30 years or more.
Additional security measures were added to the zoo following these incidents, Rogers said.
Two projects to improve security at the zoo have also been prioritized in the Alamogordo Infrastructure Improvement Plan, or ICIP.
The CIPI is a five-year infrastructure project plan that is used during the New Mexico legislative session to determine which projects get capital expenditure funding. Projects on the ICIP 2024 list were chosen by staff in December 2021.
The zoo’s request includes $775,000 for perimeter and exhibit fencing, among CIPI’s largest funding requests, although the fencing project was third in priority on the city’s list.
An additional $200,000 was included for duck pond renovations, an item that topped the list that also included $400,000 for Alamogordo Police Department vehicles and equipment, $500,000 $ for an Americans with Disabilities Act complaint elevator for the Alamogordo Police Department building at 700 Virginia Avenue and $261,140. equipment for city parks.
New Mexico counties and municipalities have until August 19 to submit ICIP requests.
Alameda Park Zoo welcomes new animals
The Alameda Park Zoo this month took in two female mountain lion cubs rescued from a rehabilitation center in Española, New Mexico.
“They were from Colorado. Something had happened to (the) mom and the cougar release rate is not very high,” Rogers said.
Alameda Park Zoo officials said work is continuing on the primate exhibit that sits inside the old gift shop building.
“There will be three exhibits,” Rogers said. “One of them right now for sure is going to be set up for our little marmosets. They’re going to move here once we’re done.”
Two marmosets are small primates that came to the Alameda Park Zoo from Hemker Park and Zoo in Freeport, Minnesota in late 2021.
The marmosets are currently housed in a glass enclosure on the north side of the zoo.
Nicole Maxwell can be reached by email at [email protected], by phone at 575-415-6605 or on Twitter at @nicmaxreporter.
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