Special to 1808Delaware

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and its wildlife conservation center, The Wilds, are embarking on a major capital spending program over the next 12 to 18 months to improve animal wellbeing, enhance guest experiences, add new lodging options, and more. The single most significant investment, approximately $32.5 million, is earmarked for the redevelopment of the North America region.

The redevelopment will transform the oldest region of the Zoo into a destination where guests can learn about the native species of our beautiful country while engaging in ways to protect the world’s most precious creatures. The first phase will include new habitats for the Mexican wolf, bald eagle, black bear, North American river otter, and trumpeter swan. Ground breaking is scheduled for the fall.

Nearly $4 million is directed to a major expansion and improvement of our bonobo’s indoor/winter habitat. This project would provide ample space and updates, so the bonobos can play, learn, and continue to thrive in their family groups. Construction for this project begins this spring. In addition, the Zoo is investing another $8 million for animal wellbeing and habitat improvements, facility upgrades, new technology, enhanced security, and more.

Work continues at The Wilds on the $7 million RV campground. The 59-acre RV campground will have 46 spots for RVs, 27 primitive camping spots, hiking, biking trails, a playground, a camp store, a dog park, two shower houses, and fishing and swimming will be available at a nearby lake. The RV campground is expected to be ready to welcome adventure seekers in early 2024.The campground is expected to boost visitation at The Wilds allowing many more families to experience this one-of-a kind destination.

“We are excited to announce these significant projects and improvements. These projects, along with other enhancements focused on animal wellbeing, are modernizing our nearly 100-year old Zoo, providing more security for our guests, and improving the lives of our animals, said Tom Schmid, President and CEO of the Columbus Zoo and The Wilds.

Funding for all these projects comes from various sources, including federal and state grants, philanthropic donations, and earned revenue.

“I am so thankful for our major donors and federal and state partners who have chosen to invest in our future. And I am proud of our operating teams, who consistently exceed our financial projections, allowing us to reinvest in our facilities and programs,” said Schmid.

Source: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium; Photo: Creative Commons License


Become a 1808Delaware Newsroom Partner and support
independent media in Delaware County. Details here.

You May Also Like

Summer Road Trips: Catch A Glimpse, Perhaps, Of An Endangered Giraffe Calf

The Wilds is celebrating the birth of a male Masai giraffe calf,…

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Guests Will See Some Adorable New Faces During Their Visit This Spring

Special to 1808Delaware Spring’s arrival with warmer days is exciting at the…

The History Of Local Water

The Delaware County Historical Society (DCHS) has released details on an upcoming…

Delaware County Roots: The First Sooner Governor

Steele was committed to laying the educational foundations of the territory.