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Yehuda Bar (left), director of Ramat Gan Zoo in Israel meets with Bert Castro, president of Phoenix Zoo. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- A private tour held this weekend could lead to better relations between Phoenix and a zoo in one of its partner cities.

Israeli zoo director Yehuda Bar began a two-day tour of the Phoenix Zoo on Friday. It was payback for a tour that Phoenix Zoo leaders got of the zoo in Ramat Gan, Israel, two years ago.

Phoenix Zoo President Bert Castro hopes this is the start of the two parks working together.

"I'd like to see my staff go over there and maybe help them with their education programs, have some of his staff come over here and do the same, and just really start to build some good cooperation," Castro said.

Bar saw the Phoenix's "Zoolights" on Friday night, and is now considering lighting up the Ramat Gan Zoo at night during the summer.

"July, August, and September in Israel is very hot, very humid," Bar said. "In the evening, the weather is much better. So, maybe, people will come."

Castro and Bar are holding meetings to plan future areas of cooperation.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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