Cincinnati Zoo to transform habitats with $50 million donation

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Officials with the Cincinnati Zoo announced Thursday morning that it is embarking on a $15 million dollar expansion and upgrades after receiving the donation.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden will launch a $150 million capital campaign that will help expand space for elephants, rhinos and kangaroos so the animals have "more home to roam," Cincinnati news partner WCPO reported this morning.

Another entrance will be added to the zoo to help accommodate its 1.8 million visitors. The zoo also received a $50 million gift from Harry and Linda Fath. The elephant yard will be expanded from one acre to five so the zoo can accommodate up to 10 elephants, Director Thane Maynard said, and the expansion could mean more breeding in the future.

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“The improvements made possible by the Faths’ generous donation will help maximize the visitor experience and provide better care and well-being for the animals that live at the Zoo, especially the elephants. The jewel of the campaign will be a giant habitat, nearly five times the size of the current elephant yards, for the Zoo’s giants,” the Zoo said.

Wildlife Canyon will be transformed to include a two-level activity course called “Roo Valley.” Beneath the trees, guests will enjoy the 15,000-square-foot grassy kangaroo walkabout with kangaroos and wallabies mere feet away. The little penguins will also get a new home complete with underwater viewing for guests.

The zoo will also add a beer garden, expected to open in 2020. A new multi-tiered seating area will be added behind the Watering Hole food and beer station where guests can relax and enjoy the view of Roo Valley.

More than 1.5 million people visit the zoo annually, and it features more than 500 animals and 3,000 plant species.


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