A cougar at the North Carolina Zoo explores its habitat after keepers used a snow-making machine to fill the exhibit Tuesday.
Credit Jeff Owen
Keepers at the North Carolina Zoo used a snow-making machine to fill a cougar's habitat with snow on Tuesday. With temperatures not expected to get out of the 30's, zoo visitors can expect to see the exhibit snow for several days.
North Carolina Zoo leaders are looking at new ways to generate revenue. In recent years the state budget has had less and less money for the zoo. Public money accounts for about 60 percent of their budget. The remainder comes from park sales and private donations. The zoo is currently one of two state-owned zoos in the United States. Traditionally a trip to the zoo in Asheboro has been a day trip for families. Officials want to change that by adding additional attractions such as a water park, an Asian continent exhibit or a hotel. Zoo Director David Jones says the zoo needs to evolve to survive.
The non-profit LandTrust of Central North Carolina is teaming up with the North Carolina Zoo to preserve a unique tract of Longleaf Pine Forest. The 113-acre tract in Montgomery County is a rarity for this type of growth in the Piedmont. The land has been preserved by private owners for more than a century. Crystal Cockman is a conversation specialist with LandTrust.