Task force reveals master plan on what could come to the LR Zoo

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.-Bigger and better things are in the works for the Little Rock Zoo.

A task force created by Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. has a plan that would cost about $90 to $100 million dollars over 10 years to implement.

It includes bigger exhibits and more interaction with animals.

People we spoke to say the zoo needs an upgrade.

People say they’ve visited zoo’s in other states with bigger exhibits, more interaction with animals, and say the Little Rock Zoo should be on the same level.

Lions, tigers, and alpacas are just some of the animals you’ll spot at the Little Rock Zoo.

“We have season passes so we come a lot,” Travis Pavo said.

Travis Pavo moved to Little Rock from California and says the zoo could be better.

“Yea it kind of needs like an injection of life it’s sort of boring,” he said.

A task force is looking to change boring into creative and fun through a multi-million dollar master plan.

“We did a lot of online surveying, we talked to some stakeholder groups and talked to members of the public about what they want from their zoo,” Susan Altrui said.

“Just something that’s more interactive would be cool for everybody and the kids and stuff it would be more fun,” Travis said.

Bringing back giraffes, new bear exhibits, interactive feeding stations and getting up close and personal to your favorite animals are part of the plan.

“I think that would be really cool. I’ve been the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida and they have something like that.,” Grace Altman said.

Director Susan Altrui says the plans are critical for the zoo’s accreditation.

“We have an aging facility and for us to maintain accreditation with The Association of Zoo’s and Aquariums we are going to have to update our facility,” she said.

A sales tax could help get the much-needed facelift that zoo-goers want.

“I’m not in favor of a sales tax I would be in more favor of the zoo just charging more money for us to get in. It would be worth it for me,” Travis said.

Director Susan Altrui says there are also plans for public and private partnerships that could include a restaurant that overlooks an animal’s habitat.

There was also a kids task force who spoke about what they wanted.
It’s now up to the Little Rock Board of Directors and people on what they want for the zoo.

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