Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo Planning African Grasslands Project


Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium have announced plans to begin fundraising for a new $70 million African Grasslands project – the largest project in the zoo’s history.

The project will span over 28 acres from the east side of the zoo where the zebras are currently housed to the hill where the rhinos currently reside.

Zoo officials say the grassland will be a full-immersion habitat with minimal barriers to view animals. Also planned for the new section are new restrooms, food service and visitor activities.

Construction for the first phase of the project is expected to begin this summer. Zoo officials say this phase will include major exhibits for elephant, giraffe, white rhino, cheetah, impala, zebra and more and will feature mixed species habitats as well as interactive demonstration areas.

Phase one is planned to be open to the public in early summer 2016.

Phase two is expected to follow within a year and will feature an overlook of Lagoon Valley as well as panoramic views of several zoo areas. This phase will also include changes to showcase the zoo's African predators.

Officials say $30 million is still needed from the public; the zoo plans to begin a Raise Wild campaign next month to raise the funds.