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07 Feb 2019

Oklahoma City Zoo planning US$70m renovation and new African area
BY Luke Cloherty

The zoo is looking to move the three giraffes it currently has and add to their number to grow the herd to around 15

The zoo is looking to move the three giraffes it currently has and add to their number to grow the herd to around 15
photo: Shutterstock.com

Oklahoma City Zoo has plans for a new African enclosure that would see a dedicated area for giraffes, penguins and African wild dogs, with other renovations also planned.

The US$71m (€62.5m, £54.7m) masterplan, which runs through to 2028, would also include a three-acre expansion for the Sea Lion Cove, a new farm area and a conservation preserve.

The zoo plans to renovate the current pachyderm building into an educational space as part of the 11-acre US$27 million (€23.8m, £20.8m) Africa concept, then move the three giraffes it currently has and add to their number to grow the herd to around 15.

The Africa space would also house penguins and the African painted dogs the zoo has in captivity.

Elsewhere, the zoo’s Galapagos tortoises will be moved to the children's zoo and the Andean condor habitat will be removed, with the condors moving into new habitats on the park's west side.

Financing includes US$6m (€5.3m, £4.6m) in fundraising by the Oklahoma City Zoological Society and less than US$9m (€7.9m, £6.9m) in borrowing or bonding.

"We want to keep people invested," said Oklahoma City Zoo CEO Dwight Lawson.

"New exhibits give us a chance to tell our story and tell what we know about wildlife and how to care for them.

"We're converting animal space into people space, so I'm excited to see what we can turn the pachyderm building into."



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