New zoo review: Parque del Centenario renovation complete

The Parque del Centenario zoo looks fresh and was modernized by the city. Photo: Ayuntamiento
The Parque del Centenario zoo looks fresh and was modernized by the city. Photo: Ayuntamiento

Mérida, Yucatán — A 26 million-peso zoo renovation was revealed Tuesday at the Parque del Centenario.

An official presentation was presided by Interim Mayor Maria Fritz Sierra, who said the project was the fulfillment of the city’s commitment to public parks for family use.

The zoo, which is home to birds and reptiles, along with lions, giraffes, zebras, fish, tigers and monkeys, has been part of the 107-year-old botanical park since 1962. It is free to the public and open daily except Mondays.

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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.

Virgilio Crespo Méndez, director of Public Works, reported that the project included the construction of 1.6 kilometers of concrete walkways, a thousand meters of new fences, 700 meters of handrails, and an improved enclosure for the chimpanzees.

About 1.5 million people visit the Parque del Centenario, at Avenida Itzáes and Calle 59, each year.

In the coming months, two other important areas of the zoo will be improved: the operating room and the quarantine and nursery area.

Elvira Albornoz Escamilla, a longtime zoo vendor, said this was the most significant remodeling of the space since it opened. She said that the renovations bring the promise of more income to the vendors, who will occupy 59 newly built stalls.

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