SOURCE: Denver Zoo

Denver Zoo

April 21, 2015 19:44 ET

Denver Zoo's Benson Predator Ridge Nominated for Best Zoo Exhibit

Zoo Asks for Public's Voting Support for USA TODAY's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards

DENVER, CO--(Marketwired - April 21, 2015) - Denver Zoo's Benson Predator Ridge exhibit has been nominated for "Best Zoo Exhibit" by USA TODAY's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards and the Zoo is asking for the public's vote. After consulting with zoo experts, the newspaper nominated 20 zoo exhibits to win the honor and Denver Zoo's popular and dynamic home for lions, spotted hyenas and African wild dogs is a finalist. Now the public is asked to cast their vote at by Monday, April 27, at noon ET, to help crown a winner.

Benson Predator Ridge, completed in June 2004, was designed to re-create a portion of the Samburu National Reserve in Kenya. The exhibit utilizes an innovative approach to enriching the lives of its animal residents, most notably by rotating them among three naturalistic habitats, where their sense of smell is stimulated by the previous inhabitants' odors. From a guest perspective, each trip to the Zoo has the potential for a completely different animal viewing experience, making it a favorite with repeat visitors.

Denver Zoo won the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) "Exhibit of the Year Award" for Benson Predator Ridge in October 2006. The award recognized the Zoo's outstanding dedication to conservation issues and construction of exhibit space replicating species' natural habitats.

For the USA TODAY's 10Best Readers' Choice Awards, the newspaper's staff worked with experts from the Zoo Association of America and the International Zoo Educators Association for help in finding the best zoo exhibits in the United States, not including aquariums. They searched for "animal habitats that engage the visitor while keeping the welfare of the animal residents paramount." The initial list was then narrowed to 20 nominees. Benson Predator Ridge is the only nominated exhibit in Colorado.

About Denver Zoo: Denver Zoo brings informal science education to life, providing a unique learning experience that sparks an interest in the natural world for visitors and program participants alike. Home to 4,300 animals representing more than 600 species, the Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which assures the highest standards of animal care.

A leader in green action, Denver Zoo is the greenest zoo in the country and is dedicated to ensuring the safety of the environment in support of all species by attaining the highest environmental standards. Since 1996, Denver Zoo has participated in about 600 animal conservation projects in 62 countries on all seven continents.

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    Sean Andersen-Vie