A recently completed six-month feasibility study between the city of Elk Grove and the Sacramento Zoo identifies a possible relocation of the Sacramento Zoo to Elk Grove as a viable option.
If this proposed plan comes true, the 95-year-old zoo would move to a much larger site than its current 14-acre site in Sacramento’s William Land Park. The zoo currently houses 433 animals of 110 species.
Elk Grove City Council last month unanimously approved a $ 9.5 million purchase agreement for 100 acres of land for the possible relocation and expansion of the zoo to Elk Grove. This property is located on Highway 99 on the northwest corner of Kammerer Road and Lotz Parkway.
An online council meeting was held on March 10 to present the details of the feasibility study.
In a pre-recorded video shown at the beginning of that meeting, Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen explained the need for the zoo to be moved to a larger site.
“He’s just too small to properly serve animals like Mo under his care,” he said as he stood in front of the zoo-resident okapi, Mo.
Sacramento Zoo director Jason Jacobs echoed Singh-Allen’s words, noting that the zoo used to have much larger animals such as bears, tigers, gorillas and hippos that were fired due to their small living space.
“(These larger animals) are popular and iconic, but zoos play a vital role in conserving rare and endangered species,” he said. “And the site here doesn’t allow us to provide enough space for these animals and serve the entire region properly.”
He added that the zoo, despite its small campus and lack of its own car park, is the most visited cultural site in the region, with more than 500,000 visitors a year.
Jacobs mentioned that Elk Grove’s proposal follows several attempts to find a larger, more suitable site for the Sacramento Zoo. He said a feasibility study for the 2019 relocation found that no site available in that city met those needs, which include compliance with the “constantly evolving standards of the accreditation guidelines of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.”
The recently completed feasibility study for the proposed Elk Grove Zoo found that the Kammerer Road and Lotz Parkway site fulfills the desire for conservation, education and recreation of a new Sacramento Zoo location.
It is also intended that the zoo be built on a design that would create a modern zoo, Jacobs said.
“We don’t want to create a zoo with row after row of animal pens with hooves or a row of monkey cages, right? – or a row of concrete caves for big cats and other carnivores, ”he said.
“(The) zoo of the future and the best zoos of today are a series of shocking experiences of presenting animals in naturalistic homes that educate, inspire our guests to take measures for wildlife and make a difference for conservation.”
Jacobs said zoo officials are looking to create the “best zoo in Northern California.”
Elk Grove Zoo would feature educational programs for students of all ages, state-of-the-art animal care facilities, and innovative dining, entertainment, and retail amenities.
It would also highlight an entrance complex designed to accommodate one million visitors a year and an adjacent 10-hectare car park.
The new zoo, Jones said, would include the return to the home of iconic and larger animals and the creation of exhibits that take zoo guests on a “safari around the world.”
Jones noted that the zoo would be built in two phases, with most of the first phase focused on African wildlife. That phase would feature the African Savannah exhibit, with animals such as white rhinos, giraffes and zebras.
The zoo would also include a safari-inspired hostel that would accommodate hundreds of people and an overnight safari with party tents as explorers and corporate retreat groups.
Habitats for animals such as okapis and frost would also be built.
Another Phase 1 plan for the proposed zoo is the Primate Playground where children can climb and play next to an area designated for ring-tailed lemurs and squirrel monkeys.
The same phase would include a veterinary hospital and a possible partnership with the Davis School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California.
Phase 2 would highlight California, with an exhibition of Golden State native animals such as brown bears, river otters, elk and trout. Another Phase 2 exhibit would be the Asia exhibit, which would include tigers, primates, and birds native to that part of the world.
Guests will also be able to see kangaroos, wallabies, emus and other animals at the Phase 2 Australia exhibition. It is also proposed that an area of this phase be dedicated to apes.
The two phases of the development plan would use 70 acres of the proposed Elk Grove Zoo site.
Also included in the feasibility study are the annual Phase 1 projections for zoo attendance between 1 million and 1.2 million visitors.
No annual operational support would be required from the city of Elk Grove, and the zoo would employ about 197 full-time workers, compared to 86 at the current zoo.
The projected economic impact on the community during the zoo’s initial five years would be $ 223 million, and visitor and employee spending associated with the zoo could generate about $ 2.6 million in city sales and temporary tax revenue. of occupation during that period.
The study notes that Elk Grove’s proposed zoo “appears to be financially viable, without diverting funds from other city priorities and services.”
The results of the study will be presented at Elk Grove City Council on March 23, and if the city council decides to move forward with the project, the zoological society and the city council would negotiate a management and exploitation agreement.
That agreement, which would likely be considered by the board for approval this fall, would include rules and responsibilities for both parties in relation to real estate acquisition, construction, public support services and facility operation.
There will also be financial design and planning, an environmental review, and opportunities for community input on the zoo’s design element and features.
For additional information on the possible transfer of the Sacramento Zoo to Elk Grove, visit the Elk Grove website at www.ElkGroveCity.org/zoo.
Feasibility study of potential Sac Zoo move to EG completed | News Source link Feasibility study of potential Sac Zoo move to EG completed | News