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Reid Park Zoo asks community to weigh in on 10-year plan

Reid Park Zoo Master Plan
Posted at 5:39 AM, Nov 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-07 08:38:04-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — TUCSON, Ariz. -- Reid Park Zoo will see a major $80 million face-lift over the next ten years.

This started in 2017 when voters approved a one cent tax to every ten dollars. The expansion of the Zoo will be rolled out in three phases, starting in the Asia exhibit, then moving to Africa and South America.

Phase one will first mean redoing the front entrance to add more shade. Then, they will move the Flamingo exhibit closer to the front and build a world play adventure zone. This will be a playground that would take kids through the continents to learn about the animals, but also have fun.

Then, the expansion of Asia. The Tiger habitat will expand from 3,000 square feet to 17,000, and have a stream running through it. Asia will also see more animals like Red Pandas, sloth bears, Komodo Dragons and Pythons. This will be completed by Summer of 2022.

Then, phase two will affect the center of the zoo in Africa. This will give the animals more space, bring back the hippo exhibit and include an African Safari Lounge that can seat up to 450 people.

Finally, phase three will re-vape South America by expanding the entrance to include a Mayan Temple and another playground for more opportunities for exploring with small animal habitats throughout.

The zoo saw 512,000 people in their last calendar year from July 2018-2019, which is a 1.4 increase from the previous year. They're hoping these new changes can help make Tucson a premier tourist destination.

"We know that Reid Park Zoo is a place that inspires memories," President and CEO of the Reid Park Zoo Nancy Kluge said. "People come with multi-generational groups, so they bring Grandma; they bring Grandpa, the little kids, the seniors and it's a place for the whole family to get together."

This expansion will affect Reid Park as a whole. If you'd like to weigh in on the changes, Tucson Parks and Recreation and the zoo are hosting an open house Tuesday. This will be at Randolph Golf Complex, Copper Room, 602 S. Alvernon Way from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. It's open to anyone who would like to attend.