The Chattanooga Zoo announces the official groundbreaking ceremony to begin construction on Phase I of the African Expansion to bring giraffe to Chattanooga. Phase I of the African Expansion will include the construction of a guest-friendly state of the art giraffe barn and an approximately 4,000 square foot outdoor giraffe lawn. With weather permitting, Phase I of this expansion is set to open in late 2019.
The giraffe barn will include multiple stalls to house giraffe and other species as needed, built in veterinary equipment for the best animal management and modern zoological practices, zookeeper areas, a catwalk to be used for daily animal care purposes and behind-the-scenes tours and an indoor day yard.
"The indoor day yard will allow guests to come indoors to visit our giraffe herd during inclement weather or colder months when the weather does not allow for this African mammal to be in their outdoor habitat," officials said. "The outdoor giraffe lawn will be placed alongside the giraffe barn and will provide a fascinating African savanna inspired habitat to hold a small herd of giraffes with multiple viewing opportunities. Guests will be able to get up-close and personal with these gentle giants and participate in engaging and new educational opportunities.
"In addition to adding to the Chattanooga Zoo’s animal collection, this new project will allow for the growth of daily activities, educational offerings and conservation participation. These new animals will be incorporated into the zoo's current interactive on-site programming and will be used to build upon new educational opportunities. Once construction is complete, the Chattanooga Zoo will acquire the appropriate number of individual giraffes through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan. The SSP is a population management program for endangered or vulnerable animal species within AZA-accredited institutions. With the addition of a new species, plans for more world-wide conservation partners are underway to extend our reach."
The official groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 26 at noon at the Chattanooga Zoo. The ceremony is open to the public.