Dear Zoo Members and Friends,
On Wednesday, March 23, the City of Elk Grove Mayor and Council received the feasibility study for a new, regional zoo and also extended the term of the Exclusive Negotiation Agreement for 60 days and directed their staff to work with the Zoo on a Memorandum of Understanding that would guide the next level of work – development of a master design plan and comprehensive feasibility study. This important milestone keeps the potential for a new zoo moving forward. The next step in the process is obtaining the services of a firm that specializes in the design of zoological parks to further study the site and develop a detailed plan.
We want to keep you apprised of these steps and the process that could lead to a new, modern zoo that can meet the needs of the animals in our care. Here are some of the facts about the proposed new zoo:
- Elk Grove selected a 75-acre site on which to create what would become one of the best zoos on the West Coast and play a major role in the conservation of several species, including many native to California.
- The new zoo would be built in phases over the course of the next decade.
- The first phase of the new zoo would highlight African animals. Potential species included giraffe, rhinoceros, lion, cheetah, wild dog, meerkat, hippopotamus, okapi, ostrich and many more. Unique features would be designed to complement the animal habitats such as camping, dining and close encounters – for instance, zoo guests would still get to feed giraffes, albeit a much larger herd in a greatly expanded habitat.
- Other features would include an education/activity center surrounded by several species of primates- lemurs and monkeys, where children could learn and pretend play like the animals they see around them.
- A new Veterinary/Animal Health center would further expand our partnership with U.C. Davis School of Veterinary Medicine to help train veterinarians and wildlife biologists.
- Future phases of the zoo would highlight animals such as great apes and wildlife from California, Asia, and Australia.
The new zoo will take several years to construct, and this is an exciting beginning. In the meantime, there are plenty of animals and fun experiences to share at our existing zoo. Over the past two years we have added new species, such as American alligator, squirrel monkey, and cheetah. In the next few weeks, Galapagos tortoise will take residence with us to delight and educate visitors. We also have several special events planned over the next few months such as Happy Hours and Locked Zoo for adults and the return of our exciting Zoo Camp for youngsters.
Our team is excited about the possibility of a new regional zoo where you and your family can experience more animals in habitats where they can thrive. I ask for your continued patience as we collaborate and work to develop a new zoo plan and move through this important process.
We appreciate your support of the zoo and our amazing animals and look forward to seeing you soon.
Jason Jacobs, Sacramento Zoo Executive Director
For more information, visit our New Zoo webpage and the City of Elk Grove’s website.
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