After running Fort Rickey for 45 years Len Cross is handing over the reins to new owners.

Chris and Rebecca Stedman bought the zoo in Rome and plan to open for the season May 18. They couple are no strangers to central New York. Chris grew up in the area and Rebecca moved here when she was in high school. Ironically she tells the Rome Sentinel she even worked at Fort Rickey when she was 16.

The Stedman's have plans to bring back water features for the kids, more animals and are even talking about an aviary where you can walk in and have bird fly all around you, according to the Sentinel.

“We’d do some bird demonstrations in there where they might be able to hold and pet and feed the birds. As much interaction as we can is what we’re looking for."

Len and Bobbie Cross who have run Fort Rickey since 1978, put the zoo up for sale last year. He tells the Sentinel he's looking forward to what the future holds for him and his wife.