KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new exhibit is opening Memorial Day Weekend at the Kansas City Zoo, bringing a new species for guests to see and learn more about.

The zoo is welcoming five female American alligators to Alligator Alley, opening Saturday. The five alligators come from a facility in Florida:

  • Gertrude, age 9
  • Lucy, age 5
  • Eudora, age 8
  • Agnes, age 9
  • Rita, age 8

American alligators are native to the southeastern United States, usually found in freshwater rivers, the Kansas City Zoo said, but they also live in swamps, marshes and lakes.

Males can grow up to 15 feet, and females can get up to 10 feet.

All to the zoo’s new alligators have gone through a 30-day quarantine and had veterinary exams to ensure they’re healthy.

The exhibit is located near the Discovery Barn, and Billy Goats Gruff Yard, where the koi pond is currently located. The zoo said fans of the koi pond don’t need to worry. The area has been divided with one side becoming home to the alligators, but guests will still be able to feed the koi.

Alligator Alley will include a large outdoor area and a building that will provide indoor facilities for alligators and their care specialists. The alligators will be outside most of the time, but in the colder months, a viewing window will let guests see the creatures indoors.

The specialists also will be adding a new daily animal chat so guests can learn more about the alligators.

Only the outdoor part of the habitat will open this weekend while work on the indoor facilities continues.

The zoo will be open all weekend, including Memorial Day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets in advance online to receive up to $5 off per ticket.  

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