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New red panda exhibit planned at South Bend zoo

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 - 9:12 am

SOUTH BEND — The nonprofit group that's taken over management of South Bend's Potawatomi Zoo is working on plans to build a new red panda exhibit and front-entrance plaza.

Potawatomi Zoological Society director Marci Dean says a contractor has been hired to build the panda exhibit and it should be finished by early April.

Dean tells the South Bend Tribune that work on the new entrance plaza with more bathrooms and a carousel is expected to begin next year. The improvement projects are estimated to cost about $1.3 million.

The South Bend City Council is paying about $1.2 million to the society this year to manage the zoo under a 5-year agreement that took effect Jan. 1. The city and the group are also sharing the cost of planned parking lot improvements.