Fall is going to be an exciting time at Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford with the expected arrival of new animals and some serious renovation projects in the works.

Sometimes my kids can be a little nosy and on a recent afternoon stop at Buttonwood Park Zoo were staring at the empty bear exhibit wondering out loud (very loud) when there would be more bears.

We were a bit surprised to receive an answer.

Seems there will be a few new furry faces coming to the beloved New Bedford zoo with the return of black bears.

It's been over three years since Amy and Ursula passed away, but Buttonwood Park Zoo Executive Director Sarah Henry recently confirmed in an email that black bears would be coming back to the zoo. She says they "will have an official news release on the subject late next week."

She also confirmed a few other new things coming this fall.

Continuing their work towards the zoo's master plan, which saw projects begin back in 2017, this fall the Buttonwood Barn and Wildlife Education Center will undergo some changes.

Henry tells us that the Buttonwood Barn will become "a space for guests to visit our Animal Ambassadors, who currently live behind the scenes."

The new Nature Center and Animal Ambassador Building is one of many updates that are part of Phase II of the master plan.

Also part of this exciting new phase, and a project expected to begin this fall, are renovations to the Wildlife Education Center. That building houses the zoo's classrooms, restrooms and Bear's Den Café, all places that will see some updates over the next several months.

The zoo has a lot of amazing things planned, but nearly another decade until it is all completed.

Still it's exciting to watch it all come together as local families enjoy all that is new at the zoo.

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