Zoo faces myriad improvements

“Something tells me it’s all happening at the zoo … I do believe it, I do believe it’s true …”

So sang Simon and Garfunkel, and this could be the theme song for our own zoo, located at Clovis’ Hillcrest Park.

It is the second largest zoo in New Mexico, and has been for years. However, that is a far more significant fact when viewed in light of the improvements that have taken place in recent years, and the energy and desire that management obviously has to bring our greatly enhanced zoo to the public ‘s attention.

One of those efforts took place last Saturday; among the activities at Hillcrest Park was free admission to the zoo.

Newly installed, or at least new since the last time my family and I visited, is a series of statues by talented local artist Patsy Delk.

These realistic and durable castings provide, in some places, a welcome photo opportunity and place for children to sit. Most of them can easily accommodate a 9-year-old of tall and slender form.

Terrain and environment have been incredibly improved over the past several years. I suspect that, if the animals could talk, this would be their favorite change, with larger and more realistic homes for the majority of the four-legged or two-winged dwellers.

Needless to say, and happily, this trend is one that reflects general improvements in zoo planning, across the nation and presumably the world.

My personal favorite, in terms of general improvements, is several months in the future — the annual Christmas lightup week, when you can see the zoo and Christmas lighting displays after dark.

There’s plenty of temperate weather left, more than enough for you to take a family or solo outing to the zoo and check out the ever-growing population of animals and their improved habitat.

Visit your favorite animals. Mine happen to be the alligators — for reasons even I do not comprehend — and the hyenas; I admit to a fondness for all things canine, and for some reason the hyenas have captured my heart for the past two years.

While you are there, you can donate a few bucks to the new habitat fund for the hyenas.

Clyde Davis is a Presbyterian pastor and teacher at Clovis Christian High School. He can be contacted at:clyde_davis@yahoo.com

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