By: Jenn Schanz
All aboard! The Lincoln Children's Zoo is done hibernating for the winter.
Wednesday, it opened its doors for the first time this season. It's never opened this early in the year before, but visitors lucked out with some sunshine.
"It's just a great day, it's nice out," says one zoo-goer.
"My daughter has been talking about coming to the zoo for 3 weeks. We've been counting down the days that we could come," says Stacey Stewart of Lincoln.
This year, the Zoo has some new attractions, including an Animal Encounter Stage, which lets visitors get up close and personal with the animals.
"We're trying to ramp it up to get our guests more involved and learning more and having a lot more fun," says Zoo Executive Director, John Chapo.
The first demonstration was a hit.
"It was a bigger crowd that we expected. You know, all the kids were really interactive and excited to get to see an animal up close," says Zookeeper Taylor Daniels.
The Animal Encounter Stage isn't the only thing that's new. The Zoo has 7 new animals this year including an American Alligator, which is just over a foot long now, but Zoo officials say it can grow to be up to 14.
A Bobcat named Apollo is also new, so are two Fennec Foxes named Jet and Bolt.
But of course, those classic exhibits that keep everyone coming back were also a crowd favorite.
Zoo officials say with 300 animals to come check out, visitors will have plenty to see this summer.
For information on the Zoo, or to check out a camp, click here: http://www.lincolnzoo.org/