Construction progressing for Zoo’s new habitats

February 19, 2018

With habitat openings slated for this summer, construction crews are making strides every day on the four-acre expansion of A Step into Africa and new habitats for snow leopard and red panda. The progress is exciting to see.

The building for snow leopard and red panda is now enclosed, allowing interior work to begin. Exterior grading and footers for the net are progressing well, and guests can begin to see the separation of the two different habitats. The snow leopard habitat will be towards the top of the hill (facing the hyena), while red pandas will be viewed from the lower road at the bottom of the hill. The shape of the building’s roof line is designed to evoke a feeling of Southern Chinese architecture, a habitat native to both species.

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The expansion of A Step into Africa is really beginning to take shape. Construction crews have enclosed the Animals of the Savanna building and are beginning interior work. This building will have indoor spaces for the large animals, an aviary, an aquarium of Lake Malawi cichlids, and numerous small habitats for animals like naked mole rats and rock hyrax.

The tram stop is almost structurally complete, while fencing, landscape, and other minor work will begin once the weather warms up in the spring. Construction for the tram stop at the front of the Zoo also will not begin until the springtime. The retail shop and giraffe feeding platform (shown below) have been enclosed and soon the exterior will go up. Sod has been installed in half of the giraffe yard, with the remaining sod set to be laid down in the spring.

The hay barn is also progressing well. This building is located at the back of the rhino yard and will serve as a support space for diet and meal prep as well as food storage. Efforts to shape the rhino yard will begin in the next week or so. Zoo guests can observe this work taking place through the cut-out viewing space near the Elephant Barn.

Click here to learn more about what’s changing at your Zoo and the A Wilder Vision Capital Campaign.