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Friends of High Park Zoo fundraises for new capybara enclosure

Friends of High Park Zoo fundraises for new capybara enclosure

Published October 6th, 2016.

May Warren, The Star

“Extreme Makeover: Capybara edition

The most famous residents of Toronto’s High Park Zoo could soon see a home reno.

Friends of High Park Zoo, a non-profit that raises money for the free facility, is fundraising to finance a multi-million dollar overhaul of its master plan that includes upgrades to the capybara pen.

Among other things, plans call for restoration and expansion to the century-old log structure that houses the animals along with an expanded outdoor swimming area, board chairman John Formosa said.

“They love swimming,” Formosa said about the zoo’s three dog-size rodents. “When they got away that’s where they were, in the ponds in the park.”

Two capybaras, dubbed Bonny and Clyde, gained international notoriety after they escaped from the zoo in May and spent weeks on the lam before being caught.

Overall, updating the zoo’s master plan is expected to cost about $20 million, Formosa said. A “small chunk” of that is being financed by the city, but the non-profit is also looking for funding from the federal government and private donors. It’s also hoping to renew its five-year lease with the city this week.

Other animals, will of course, benefit from upgrades.”

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