Opened to great fanfare in 1967, the Reid Park Zoo in Tucson is one of the most popular public zoos in the southwest.
Located at 3400 Zoo Court, the 24-acre zoo sees more than half a million visitors a year who are attracted to imaginative exhibitions featuring upwards of five hundred animals.
Now, as part of a 10-year master plan to upgrade its facilities, the Reid Zoo is embarking upon a project that will see the expansion of its Pathways to Asia exhibition, an exhibition housing red pandas, sloth bears, and exotic birds.
The Asian exhibition work will significantly expand an existing space, taking it from its current 3,000 square feet to a planned 17,000 square feet.
According to city documents, the newly expanded Asian exhibition will be designed to help visitors “learn about the animals of Asia, where they live, and what special adaptations they have to live in their native area.”
Equally ambitious will be the work planned for the zoo’s World of Play Adventure Zone, designed to be a playground exploring different regions of the world, with an ice cave representing Antarctica, a tree top hut representing South Africa, and redwood trees representing North America.
Work on the Pathways to Asia and World of Play Adventure Zone is expected to launch in January with a summer 2022 completion date.
The overall master plan upgrading of the zoo carries with it an $80 million price tag, with funding coming from a one cents sales tax approved by Tucson voters in 2017.
By Garry Boulard
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