Lone Star Adventure: MOLA - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Lone Star Adventure: MOLA

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A multi-million dollar structure that just opened in Fort Worth is truly one of a kind. In this week's Lone Star Adventure FOX 4's Richard Ray takes us to the Fort Worth Zoo and its new Museum of Living Art, also known as MOLA.

The Fort Worth Zoo recently snipped the ribbon on a structure they believe is unmatched by any other. Gone is the old herpeterium. It's replaced by a $19 million marvel of stone and acrylic where children squeal with delight, noses pressed to the glass, fascinated by fearsome creatures so deftly displayed.

There are a lot of things that make MOLA unique. Among them is the all-out effort it took to make the museum artistically and architectually significant. Ramona Bass played a big role in pulling it off. She delights in the name's riff on MOMA, New York's famed Museum of Modern Art.

Behind the scenes, labs and nurseries are now doubled in space. The whole building is designed for breeding threatened and endangered species, including the monster Gharial crocodiles whose enclosure visitors are likely to encounter first.

The facility allows for the control of individual air and water temperatures in the exhibits, as well as mist and light cycles. That's far more than they could do in the old reptile building. The improvements are important to help endangered species breed in captivity.

Exhibits are laid out to reflect a natural habitat for more than just its 5,000 reptiles and amphibians. There are birds and mammals in and around MOLA. The creatures are chosen for their color and beauty.

Fort Worth's Zoo has long been applauded as world class, but MOLA has taken it in a new direction. The museum within a zoo allows nature, art and architecture to converge.

For more information about MOLA please visit the Fort Worth Zoo's website.

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