Wheaton's Cosley Zoo opens new bobcat exhibit - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Wheaton's Cosley Zoo opens new bobcat exhibit

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) -

The Cosley Zoo in Wheaton is hoping a new exhibit featuring a pair of bobcats will teach visitors about the importance of conservation.

The 10-year-old bobcats, Salvatore and Valentino, came from a humane society in California. The zoo opened the exhibit Friday. It's the first new wildlife exhibit since the late 1990s for the small, 5-acre zoo, which allows visitors a close-up experience with domestic farm animals and native Illinois wildlife.

The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports that Director Susan Wahlgren hopes visitors to the new exhibit will take home a conservation lesson.

Bobcats are 1 of only two wild cats native to Illinois. They nearly vanished in the 1960s because of the loss of woodland habitat and hunting. Moratoriums and habitat preservation helped the animals to bounce back.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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