Get closer in the African Savanna
April 26, 2018
The Fort Worth Zoo’s Board of Directors and Executive Director are thrilled to introduce the Zoo’s new 10-acre African Savanna, which includes a mixed-species space, giraffe feeding, underwater hippo viewing, multiple yards for southern black rhinos and exotic bird aviaries.
“We are so thrilled with these amazing new habitats and I must thank the citizens of Fort Worth, who continue to be so generous in their support of the Zoo,” said Ramona Bass, co-chair of the Fort Worth Zoological Association Board of Directors. “None of this would be possible without them.”
Opening April 21, African Savanna is the first phase of A Wilder Vision, the $100-million capital campaign that includes new exhibit space, renovated habitats, special events space, dining areas, restrooms and most importantly, new ways to observe, interact with and learn about animals. “Once again, Ramona Bass has galvanized the community to rally around their zoo and help us even surpass our initial fundraising goal,” said Fort Worth Zoo President Ardon Moore. “As a top five zoo in the nation, we’re confident that the changes and improvements happening here will continue to elevate our profile as a top-ranked zoo as well as an international leader in animal care and conservation.”
“We are excited to bring guests face-to-face with some of the most unique creatures in the world here at the Fort Worth Zoo,” said Zoo Executive Director Michael Fouraker.” While many of these animals have resided at the Zoo for some time, guests will be able to get closer with these animals and engage in ways that they’ve never been able to before. The African Savanna will also shine a light on the struggles many of these animals face in the wild.”
- Giraffe, zebra, lesser kudu, springbok, ostrich and African bird species roam freely in the center exhibit.
- Lesser flamingos neighbor the rhino yards, and an aviary will house additional exotic bird species.
- Observe the Zoo’s giraffe herd from the panoramic entry plaza or stop by the elevated observation deck for the opportunity to experience them face to face.
- Watch the Zoo’s hippos from ground level as well as from down below. The 70-foot-long underwater viewing area will allow for an up-close-and-personal experience with the animals while they are fully submerged, as hippos spend most of their time underwater. Viewing beneath the surface will enhance the guest experience.
- Southern black rhinos roam the perimeters of the savanna in multiple yards. Expanded spaces for this critically endangered species will allow the Zoo to continue its renowned southern black rhino breeding and conservation program.
- Enjoy African-themed snack stands and outdoor seating, as well as restrooms and merchandise shops.
- Private event space for 500+ overlooks the savanna.
- Complete with educational programming such as keeper chats, the African Savanna will also share messages of conservation and environmental stewardship.
The next part of A Wilder Vision to open will be Elephant Springs, which will nearly triple the size of the current elephant yard. It will serve as home to the growing Asian elephant herd, which includes a three-generation family. The addition of multiple, expanded yards and 420,000-gallon pool will help to enhance the Zoo’s successful elephant breeding program. The greater one-horned rhinos will have a home next door to elephants. Elephant Springs will open in the spring of 2020.
The nationally acclaimed Fort Worth Zoo has been ranked the No. 4 zoo in the nation by USA Today, the Best Zoo in Texas by Yahoo Travel, the No. 5 zoo in the nation by USA Travel Guide, the No. 1 attraction in the DFW Metroplex by Zagat survey and a top 10 zoo or aquarium by FamilyFun magazine and TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards. The Zoo is home to more than 500 animal species and a world-famous reptile collection, housed in the award-winning Museum of Living Art (MOLA). The institution’s focus on education and conservation is second-to-none, enhancing the lives of more than 1 million visitors a year.