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    Posted February 19, 2010 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Offbeat images

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    The "New" Gulf Breeze Zoo


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     JamesAmerson has a real talent for getting animals to show off their quirkiest faces! He shot these pictures at the Gulf Breeze Zoo's "soft" opening on February 18. Check out the video.
    - rachel8, CNN iReport producer

    It once was the "Zoo Northwest Florida",,,a struggling little non-profit zoo that had so many issues.  They fought long and hard, but wasn't able to keep the doors open.  Now, it has been purchased by a new owner, Eric Mogensen, and bringing in new staff to join portions of the old staff, everyone has work incredibly hard to put the zoo back on its feet.  They had a "soft" opening yesterday and will have the official grand opening in a couple of weeks; so many people have already come out to see.  Even the local media has come to the zoo in droves.  Kate Wanko, general curator, said to me that they all have been surprised by all the media attention.  I explained to her that the zoo has been such a part of this community and has had a lot of controversy surrounding it, that for most, everyone is excited to see Eric and his staff bring life back to it.

    Great job guys!  The zoo looks wonderful and we can’t wait to see what ya’ll do next!

    To learn more about the history of the zoo, click on the links below….


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