New animals, spring break deals at Falls

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Noccalula Falls Park and Campground announced Wednesday, March 20, a pair of additions to the animal habitat: a baby sloth and a toucan.

The two new residents are part of an ongoing effort to expand the park’s petting zoo and animal habitat.

“For more than a year, we’ve been working to add some animals that aren’t found easily in northeast Alabama,” said Gadsden Mayor Craig Ford. “We have a pair of kangaroos, Chief and Lula; a coatimundi; monkeys; and last fall, we added a pair of sloths. We love to have families visit Noccalula Falls Park, and it’s an educational experience to see these animals and learn about them firsthand. We look forward to everyone seeing our new family members.”

The sloth was born last week, and members of the park staff are working with veterinarians to ensure the new baby and its mother are appropriately cared for.

Ford said during the Tuesday, March 19, Gadsden City Council meeting that city officials were not aware the mother sloth was already pregnant when she was moved to Gadsden, but that they were excited to welcome the new addition.

Construction is also continuing on the park’s new barn, which will house some animal habitats and an area for educational programs. The building has been framed and is expected to be completed this fall.

To encourage families to get out and enjoy the spring weather, the park’s mini-golf course will offer a buy one, get one free deal for games played during the week of March 25, 2024 — the week of Etowah County Spring Break. This deal does not apply to the park and mini-golf combo pass.

The mini-golf course will also extend its hours for that week and will be open every day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“With Spring Break coming up, we wanted to have some more activities available for families to enjoy,” said Park Director Christina Richardson. “We hope everyone will come out to see our new animals and participate in all the other great things we offer!”

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