Date: September 26 2008Contact: Rod HackneyASHEBORO—The North Carolina Zoo has launched a new and improved Web site at that provides users with more up-to-date information added features and immediate purchasing opportunities when planning a zoo visit.More than a year in development the new Web site offers a fresh design with a new look and feel that incorporates the zoos official color pallet already used in park signage and marketing materials.According to Chris Bulla zoo marketing officer the new site is a Web-based content management system that makes the Web site a more dynamic flexible and usable publishing tool for zoo staff. For Web users the new site includes expanded content on how to plan a zoo visit and the option to download a visitor guide. It also offers: online zoo tickets or reservations for park amenities; more animal plant exhibit and public art collection information; a broader explanation of the zoo’s role in conservation projects around the world; a full special events calendar; educational resources for students and teachers; and a more complete newsroom for both journalists and photographers.“This dynamic Web environment enables the zoo staff to author information more quickly so our site remains the best source of up-to-date zoo happenings” Bulla said.Because potential zoo visitors can download visitor guides maps purchase tickets and zoo gift cards the zoo can reduce print and postage costs uses less paper and become more responsive to immediate consumer needs. The site also offers more zoo staff members the opportunity to contribute articles and content based on their area of expertise. “There are so many voices at the North Carolina Zoo- staff whose role is to promote conservation education and recreation but perhaps in different ways” Bulla said. “It’s really exciting to have a tool like this new Web site to showcase all aspects of the zoo’s mission. Although development of the site will continue in phases the new site launch is a terrific start in our efforts to reach all of our audiences and meet their specific interests.”The zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources William G. Ross Jr. Secretary; Michael F. Easley Governor.###