June 20, 2014 9:26 am

Winnipeg’s zoo looking for savings after costly winter

The Journey to Churchill exhibit under construction at the Assiniboine Park Zoo is slated to open in 2014.

Megan Batchelor / Global News

WINNIPEG – Construction of the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s massive new Journey to Churchill exhibit has run into some unexpected expenses.

City councillors confirm the project is $4.5 million over budget.

In April, the Journey to Churchill exhibit was pegged at $90 million.

Global News has been told two of the issues adding to extra costs are materials brought in from the United States and heating expenses during the extremely cold, long winter.

In 2010, the city made a commitment of $50 million over 10 years to the Assiniboine Park Conservancy to aid in its $200 million renewal.

Councillor Brian Mayes said the park has not come “near that cap yet, so while this project over (budget), offset could occur on some other park project .”

The 10-acre exhibit will make up an eighth of the zoo once its completed. It will host at least 6 different species of animals and include the zoo’s four resident polar bears – Hudson, Storm, Kaska and Aurora.

The zoo will close on June 23 for 10 days ahead of the July 3 opening of the Journey to Churchill exhibit.

 

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