FORT WORTH, Texas - The Fort Worth Zoo has big and costly plans to expand and improve its aging facilities.
The zoo launched a campaign Monday to ask the public for the final $10 million it needs for a $100 million renovation plan.
It has already raised the rest of the funds for the project it calls “A Wilder Vision.” Improvements will include larger, redesigned and interactive habitats plus some event spaces.
A Wilder Vision is designed to expand conservation and keep people coming to the Fort Worth Zoo for other reasons too.
Ramona Bass with the Fort Worth Zoo Board of Directors has been a guiding light for much of the vision for more than 30 years.
"Over a million people visit the soon a year don't think anybody in Fort Worth can say that,” Bass said. “The zoo is the biggest attraction in Fort Worth."
While a Wilder Vision will enhance the visitor experience, the main focus is on the animals. Among the improvements, the giraffe herd is expected to almost triple to 20, the elephant habitat will be three times larger and the hippos will move from a small pond to a running river with an underwater viewing area.
About $90 million has already been raised with private funding. The people who enjoy the zoo and its benefits to the community are being included in the campaign to raise the remaining $10 million.
The project will be done in phases. The first phase, which includes a new African Savannah exhibit, opens in two years.