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Zoo gets $500,000 for Reptile House renovation

The Buffalo Zoo has been awarded a $500,000 grant from the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation which will be applied toward the $2.5 million renovation of its historic Reptile House. The money was included in a funding package received by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.

The Reptile House, considered one of the best in the nation when it opened in 1942, was designed by renowned zoologist Marlin Perkins when he was curator at the zoo. Its interior brick walls and brass railings will be preserved, while the roof and skylights will be replaced and mechanical systems will be upgraded.

The renovated facility will be known as the Amphibian and Reptile Center and will highlight the zoo’s work in breeding endangered amphibians. Current animal exhibits will be replaced by two dozen habitats which will replicate conditions found in nature. One of them will allow the zoo to exhibit Komodo dragons for the first time.