New Children’s Zoo Will Be First Major Expansion

At Tanganyika’s annual benefit event, the Twilight Tour, Assistant Director Matt Fouts shared his vision for Tanganyika’s future. Fouts wowed the audience with illustrations of future attractions, new exhibits, and current exhibits reimagined.

 Tanganyika has always been on the cutting edge of animal interaction and inventive exhibits with current exhibits including Lemur Island, and pygmy hippo and rhino feeding Stations. Fouts’ presentation showed that Tanganyika will once again reach for new and brilliant heights in animal encounters. Fouts showed plans for an expanded Children’s Zoo area with an otter exhibit, a meerkat exhibit integrated into a gemstone mining experience, a new education building, an expanded playground, and multiple water features including a splash park.

 “We firmly believe in strengthening the connection between people and animals, especially children,” said Fouts. “That is why it was clear to us to build an incredibly interactive Children’s Zoo.  We have been visiting zoos across the country for more than four years, and I believe this will be one of the best children’s zoos in the country.” With a new education building, Tanganyika will be better suited to facilitate larger summer camps, more animal ambassadors, and even animal shows, which would make Tanganyika the only zoo in Kansas to feature a formal animal show. This will be Tanganyika’s first major capital campaign, but Fouts is confident they can raise the four million dollars needed to make these visions a reality. “While it is a sizable amount of money, the cost is very reasonable considering it includes over 20 new exhibits and nearly 14 interactive or immersive experiences.”

 The first phase of the project will benefit some of Tanganyika’s current residents: the albino American alligator and African penguins.  Tanganyika will be enclosing both exhibits and making the penguins a walk-through exhibit.  The new aquatic building will also feature a stingray touch tank and be adjacent to a new otter exhibit.  Finally, if the funds can be raised in time, the first phase will include a new splash park.  The first phase could begin as early as this Fall or Winter and is estimated to cost $1.5 million.

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