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Neighborhood Driving Zoo opens this spring

“Look everyone!  There’s a peacock!!!”

Longtime neighbors have seen this comment more times than they can count.  Someone excitedly posts a picture as though they are the first ones to see what the rest know is the famous Chimbo Peacock.

“I mean, it’s like every two weeks that someone posts about it like it’s the first time.  It’s not.  We’ve been talking about the peacock for years.”  Susan Nasus, who lives on N street near Chimborazo Boulevard, has known about the peacock for nearly a decade.  “He lives at the corner there with other peacocks, and I always assumed he was just a pet until I heard the news.”

The news, which dropped early this month, was that the peacocks were part of a new experimental zoological experience being piloted in the east end.  The experience utilizes concepts used in zoos that allow viewers to drive through the exhibits, but in a more unique way.

“The idea is that you are both driving through a neighborhood, but also a zoo, and at any moment you don’t know which it is.”  Sherman Pavo was tasked with getting the zoo running, and is excited for the soft opening mid-April.  “During a pandemic, in-person things are challenging, so having a concept that is car-based couldn’t be more ideal!”

Over the last decade, Pavo has been installing various animal exhibits throughout the neighborhood.  While the peacocks have been the most discussed, he has also brought in chickens, bees, and various dogs and cats.

“The exhibit I’ve been most excited about is ‘Dogs of the world’, where there are various breeds around the neighborhood.  It always makes me laugh when I see someone post ‘did anyone lose this cute pup?’  Nope!  That’s one of ours!”

Kittens won’t be sad anymore

The most ambitious — and controversial — exhibit has been “Stray to stay”.  “We wanted to celebrate all there is to love about cats, so we’ve been bringing in a steady flow of them.  We didn’t expect the backlash… apparently people don’t like cats all over their block.”

Those interested in taking a driving tour of the zoo can receive a digital map — which is regularly updated — for just $10 per vehicle.  The map will give you various route options, depending on your preference, and will give tips on how to spot the different animals.

“I suspect N and Chimbo will be a busy spot for the tour, at least until they find the hippo.”

Guest Post by Phil Connors

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