Zoo Boise's Capital Campaign ramps up

Posted at 4:02 PM, Sep 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-04 23:34:42-04

One of the most popular, paid attractions in the entire Gem state is located right in the heart of downtown Boise.

This year, over 345,000 people are expected to walk past the gate at Zoo Boise, and they are in the final push of their $8.9 million capital campaign.

As part of the campaign that's connected with further helping along a conservation effort in Africa, there will be a whole new slew of animals to see including: Baboons, crocodiles, hyenas and African Otters.

In partnership with the Gorongosa Park, a mini version of the national park will be one of the newest attractions at the zoo.

What's now space used for events will be transformed into a whole new world.

"Not only is the zoo going to continue to get better, but it's going to get bigger," says Steve Burns, director of Zoo Boise.

Several animal species populations and habitat were devastated during a civil war in Mozambique.

"Things like elephants, tigers and lions, gorillas, rhinos, they're in really, very serious jeopardy of going extinct," Burns says. "The numbers are to frightingly low numbers."

Some housing updates are a part of the plan as well, ones that will benefit the way staff care for primates and birds.

Among the shuffle, the Gibbons, small ape exhibit will move to an area close to the entrance.

With ten percent of the zoo's budget going toward conservation efforts, each person who walks through the gate is helping save lives.

"Not only are you seeing animals but you're directly helping them in the wild," Burns concludes.

The master plan for Julia Davis Park includes a 5-acre expansion over time. The first acre and half of that allotted amount will be dedicated to the new African exhibit. 

There are a number of ways to contribute to the zoo's capital campaign.

Donations can be taken on their website, through the purchase of tiles that will be displayed and there are even naming opportunities. Or, you can always show up to one of their Halloween-themed events in October.

Zoo Boise has $1.4 million left to raise by April 1, 2017.