Our giant animatronic dinosaurs made their exit at summer’s end – but they’ve been replaced by roaring, moving bulldozers, excavators and backhoes as we embark on an exciting new project. The heavy equipment and construction workers are expanding our Asian Elephant Preserve and replacing the old boardwalk with a new walkway that will be more accessible and offer better views of our elephants, white-lipped deer and red wolves.
Funded by the county with support from the Friends of the Zoo, the project may take several months, during which the Wildlife Trail will be a horseshoe rather than a loop. Once it is completed in the spring, this amazing remodel will transform your experience of that area of the zoo. The new walkway will greatly improve the views of animals and scenery, create more public space all while providing more enriching habitats for our animals.
The project, true to our Strategic and Master Plan, includes:
- A wider, flatter public walkway with ground-level views of animals, including closer observation of our elephant matriarch, Siri, and an Elephant Crossing that will allow visitors and elephants to see each other eye-to-eye.
- Asian Elephant Preserve will grow from 4.5 to over 6 acres, giving our beloved elephants even more room to roam
- A larger public gathering space overlooking the elephant preserve and four new viewing areas for elephants, white-lipped deer and red wolves
- Added features such as a tunnel where elephants can walk under the main gathering area, a mud wallow for white-lipped deer near their viewing area, and a better perspective for viewing our red wolves.
While we improve your zoo, we hope our young construction fans enjoy the sight of so much heavy equipment and the capable crew operating it. As for the animals, our zookeepers ensure us that none of our creatures seems concerned by the activity – and that it actually can be enriching to have a little commotion in their day.
President + CEO
Friends of the Zoo