The Sacramento Zoo broke ground today on a new exhibit to showcase six animal species new to the zoo, which is set to open in Summer 2014.

Wolfs Guenon Sacramento Zoo
Wolf's Guenon

Small Wonders of Africa will be the home to African Straw-Colored Fruit Bats, Banded Mongooses, Aardvarks, Wolf's Guenons, Red-Billed Hornbills and Crested Guineafowl. Each of the species will help the Sacramento Zoo tell the story of East Africa, presenting the challenges of conserving wildlife in this unique corner of the world.

Zoo visitors can expect a better view of the animals as the new exhibit expands and enhances an existing structure. The existing mesh enclosure is being replaced with modern stainless steel, and several smaller exhibits are being combined into larger viewing areas.

Existing exhibits that will be incorporated into the new one include parrot, owl, porcupine and lemur habitats. The renovation will also include a termite mound so zoo guests can watch the nocturnal aardvarks even as they sleep.

The Sacramento Zoo has been active in many East African conservation programs to educate the people who share the landscape with the wildlife.

Presenting sponsor The Ron & Shirley Watkins Family joined many other donors to raise the more than $600,000 so far to make the project possible.