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The Racine Zoological Society is extending its half-price winter admission rates until Friday, April 18.

Adults can visit the Zoo for $4, seniors for $3.50 and children for $3. Children under three years of age are always free.

The decision stems from lower than average spring temperatures. Many animals currently have access to outdoor exhibits such as red kangaroos and wallaroos within Walkabout Creek, the big cats in Great Cat Canyon including our two African lions Aslan and Azizi, on exhibit for the first time together, our two tufted deer, and many others.

The Benstead Discovery Center housing reptiles, amphibians, and fish and the historic Vanishing Kingdom building that is home to Max and Jenny the orangutans, and other wildlife, are always open for visitors during regular Zoo hours. The Helen Ireland Wildlife Theater also offers daily animal programs.

However, wildly popular animals such as the Masai giraffes, black rhinoceros, meerkats, and African penguins are less cold tolerant and are spending limited time outdoors due to the cold.

“This hasn’t been an easy winter for anyone,” said Jay R. Christie, president and CEO of the Racine Zoo. “While we wait for spring temperatures to arrive, we invite people to visit and enjoy the Zoo at half price for a little longer.”

As temperatures return to normal, the Zoo is gearing up for a busy season. The annual Egg-Stravaganza is scheduled for Saturday, April 19 from 9-11 a.m., the same day Barnyard Safari opens.

Nestled along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan, the Racine Zoo is open year round. Current hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission rates are: Members and children under three: FREE, children three to 15: $3, seniors: $3.50, and adults: $4. For more information on the Racine Zoo, its programs and events, visit www.racinezoo.org, call (262) 636.9189 and find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.