Crowds flock to the renovated Centenario Zoo

A new playground at the zoo was part of a large renovation unveiled last week. Photo: Ayuntamiento
Meridanos spent a pleasant Sunday at the zoo, which was recently renovated. Photo: Ayuntamiento

Mérida, Yucatán — More than 100,000 visitors have enjoyed the zoo since the city spent three months and 26 million pesos to overhaul it, according to the Ayuntamiento.

The Parque Zoológico del Centenario, which is part of a botanical park at Avenida Itzáes and Calle 59, unveiled its new look last week.

The biggest renovation since the zoo opened in 1962 included a new food court, playground, fences, pathways and signs.

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The new attractions caused a phenomenon not seen in recent years, reported Diario de Yucatán. On Sunday, facilities were insufficient for the number of visitors, and streets surrounding the park were overwhelmed by cars.

Among the visitors taking advantage of Sunday’s lovely weather were the general secretary of Concanaco, José Manuel López Campos, with his wife, his children and grandchildren; the auxiliary bishop of Xalapa, Monsignor Rafael Palma Capetillo, who is visiting the city; the meteorologist of UADY’s Faculty of Engineering, Juan Vázquez Montalvo; the director of the Scientific Park of Yucatán, Tomás González Estrada, who went with a relative; and a Hindu family that attracted attention because of their traditional attire.

Campos said this was his first visit to the zoo in 30 years.

The home to birds and reptiles, along with lions, giraffes, zebras, fish, tigers and monkeys, is part of a 107-year-old botanical park. It is free to the public and open daily except Mondays.

Modern playgrounds were among the most prominent changes at the park. A small plane and statues of a lion and pig have been cleaned and restored. Vibrant murals embellish a new food area, called the Comedor Verde.

About 1.5 million people visit the Parque del Centenario each year.

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