COLUMBIA (WIS) - In light of Riverbanks Zoo recently breaking its all-time attendance record with more than 1,029,000 guests visiting over the past year, News 10's Mary King went out to see some of the exhibits that seem to keep people from all over coming back for more.
"This is very exciting," said Susan O'Cain, Communications Specialist at Riverbanks in response to the number of visitors between the 2011 and 2012 fiscal year. "They're definitely huge numbers for us and we attribute a lot of that to the fact that we are able to provide a quality guest experience at an affordable price."
At the end of May, News 10's Kelly Coakley went out to Riverbanks to take an inside look at some of the latest exhibits, tours and conservation efforts. One of those segments featured an inside look at the flamingo exhibit where Coakley learned there were several eggs waiting to hatch. This morning, News 10's Mary King met one of the chicks that hatched just a little over three weeks ago. The team at Riverbanks is calling the little gray chick "Baby" until they find out whether it is a male or a female.
"When it starts to growing in some of the larger feathers, we can take some of those feathers, send it off and get a DNA test to figure out if it's a boy or a girl," said Lindsay Walker, a bird keeper and bird specialist at the zoo.
If you visit the flamingo exhibit at Riverbanks, you won't be able to miss 'Baby'. 'Baby' will be gray in color for up to a year. Bird experts say flamingos get their pink color through their diet."It's called carotenoids," said Walker. "It's the same thing that's in carrots and tomatoes. That's what gives carrots their orange color and tomatoes their red color."
To learn more on 'Baby' or some of the other latest exhibits and zoo camps, take a look at the videos at the top of this story (not available on your mobile device)!