Bear Habitat and Lodge Cafe
This year, the Zoo will break ground on a 6,000 square-foot café and events space that will overlook a new black bear habitat. The bear habitat and café, tentatively named The Lodge, will be constructed in the empty field between the current otter and bobcat habitats.
As part of this project, the Potawatomi Express train has been rerouted to curve in front of the new café and travel next to the forthcoming bear habitat. Both bobcats and bears will be visible on this new route.
Acquiring bears to bring to the Zoo requires working with animal rescues and other zoological facilities. It can be a complicated process, so the Zoo won’t officially announce new animals until they’ve arrived safely at the Zoo.
Naming opportunities are available for this project by request.
African Lion Habitat
The Zoo is in the process of working on a new lion habitat in the center of the Africa region of the Zoo. This project is a complete indoor and outdoor renovation of the former chimpanzee habitat. Although there have been delays in materials and labor, the project will continue as soon as possible, and is still scheduled to be finished in 2022 or early 2023 at the latest.
The Zoo is also preparing to bring new lions to the Zoo, which involves cooperation from the African Lion Species Survival Plan, the zoological facility the other lions will be coming from, as well as a large-animal transportation company. As with other large animals, lions can’t be transported in the heat of the summer, so the Zoo will wait until fall to bring the lions to the Zoo.
This project is fully funded.
Amur Tiger Habitat
The Zoo is always looking ahead to the next big project, which is scheduled to be a complete renovation and expansion of the Amur tiger habitat. This will create a more naturalistic habitat with greater opportunity for visitor viewing. More information on this project will be available soon.
Naming opportunities will be available for this project.
The Zoo regularly updates habitats, as well as builds smaller habitats when they’re needed. This year, the Zoo added outdoor space for the white-faced saki monkeys and built a new howler monkey enclosure. Other smaller projects include aviaries for the kookaburras and aracaris, new perching systems for a variety of animals, and updates to the wild dogs’ habitat.