In a first-of-its-kind experiment, Chattanooga Zoo officials are giving animals and visitors a break from the summer heat by extending hours on two Thursdays this month.
Starting today and recurring on July 25, the zoo will stay open until 8 p.m., three hours past the normal closing time. The zoo opens daily at 9 a.m.
This will be the first time in history the zoo has extended general operating hours past 5 p.m., according to a news release. If later summer hours in July appear successful, it's possible such a change could become permanent.
"Many of the animals, especially in summer, enjoy the cooler evenings and are quite active during twilight hours," says the zoo's executive director, Darde Long. "For the zoo animals that are nocturnal, this is a great opportunity for visitors to get to see them in action."
Chattanooga Zoo is at 301 N. Holtzclaw Ave. For details, visit www.chattzoo.org or call 423-697-1319.