Minnesota Zoo replaces Kangaroo Crossing experience with Llama Trek

There will be no mingling free-roaming kangaroos at the zoo this year.
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Say "Take it easy" to the kangaroos at the Minnesota Zoo.

The high-profile Kangaroo Crossing experience - which let guests mingle with loose kangaroos - will not be returning to the Apple Valley zoo this year, a spokesperson confirmed to Bring Me The News. Taking its place is a similar exhibit called Llama Trek (more on that below).

Kangaroo Crossing debuted in 2017, cordoning off an area along the Northern Trail for zoo-goers to see kangaroos, wallabies and emus up close, with minimal - if any - separation. After an initial run in 2017, the exhibit returned the following year.

But it won't be back for 2019, with the zoo saying the space known as Kangaroo Crossing is "designed to host our rotating feature summer exhibits."

"For the last two years the space was home to Kangaroo Crossing, prior to that we've hosted a multi-year Africa exhibit in that space, and this year we're putting a spotlight on South America and animals of the Andes Mountain region," spokesman Zach Nugent said.

The kangaroos were on loan from another facility, to where they will return, with the zoo saying they don't have any future plans for kangaroos at the moment.

"Although guests will not be seeing kangaroos at the Minnesota Zoo this year, we think Llama Trek will be a fun and immersive experience that supports our mission of connecting people, animals, and the natural world to save wildlife."

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Llama Trek opens along the Northern Trail Saturday, May 25, and runs through Labor Day. Like the kangaroo exhibit, the llamas will be free-roaming, though guests are asked to stay on the walking paths and not touch the animals. For a $7 fee, you can have the chance to walk a llama.

There will be guinea pigs and rhea (large, flightless birds) in the area as well.

The zoo is also highlighting the work being done to conserve wild chinchillas, which are fairly common pets but close to extinction in nature, the zoo says.

Access to Llama Trek is free with a Minnesota Zoo ticket. It's open from 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.

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