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Ecomuseum Zoo expects influx of business with temporary Biodome closure

Click to play video 'Will West Island Ecomuseum Zoo benefit from Biodome closure?' Will West Island Ecomuseum Zoo benefit from Biodome closure?
WATCH ABOVE: Sunday is Zoo Lovers Day, but Montreal's main attraction, the Biodome, is closed for a year-long renovation project. So what's a zoo-lover to do? Global's Brayden Jagger Haines reports on how the Biodome's closure could impact the Ecomuseum Zoo in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue – Apr 9, 2018

There’s another place to get your furry fix while the Montreal Biodome is closed for renovations.

The Ecomuseum Zoo is expecting to see an uptick in business as it fills the hole left by the temporary closure of the Montreal Biodome.

“This year we are already ahead of last year,” Ecomuseum director general David Rodrigue said.

“There is a need and demand for people to visit institutions like ours so most likely, the fact that the Biodome is closing there should be more people coming here,” Rodrigue said.

READ MORE: Montreal’s Biodome shutting down until 2019 for renovations

The non-profit zoo, situated 20 minutes away from downtown Montreal, welcomed 145,000 people through its doors in 2017, according to Rodrigue.

The West Island animal sanctuary is a popular place – it is one of the top ten attractions in Montreal, Rodrigue says.

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Martina Derrer, a volunteer with the Ecomuseum, has seen the popularity of the zoo grow among tourists. She remembers visitors from France who had an afternoon to kill before heading to the airport stroll the park.

READ MORE: David Rodrigue on 25 years at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue’s Ecomuseum Zoo

After six years of work with the zoo, Derrer is not surprised to see people make their way out to the West Island.

“I would suspect that we would probably pick up on a lot of people who would otherwise stay downtown,” Derrer said.

Some familiar faces will be guests at Montreal’s largest outdoor zoo. The North American porcupine and a few ducks will be calling the Ecomuseum home for the next year-and-a-half while the Biodome undergo renovations.

READ MORE: Ecomuseum Zoo welcomes back crowd-pleasing river otter with new exhibit

River Otter frolics in his enclosure. Global News

The zoo opened in 1988 as a focal point of research, education and conservation activities for the Saint-Lawrence Valley Natural History Society.

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