Report: Oklahoma City Zoo planning expansion

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City Zoo is planning to expand, a new report states.

According to the Journal Record, the Oklahoma City Zoo plans to expand its Asian exhibit.

“The Asian exhibit has been widely popular for the last couple of years, so we’re hoping to expand on that,” Dwight Lawson, Oklahoma City Zoo executive director, told the Journal Record.

The expansion will include a rhino exhibit, a Komodo dragon exhibit, a splash pad, and a two-story restaurant that overlooks the elephants.

As part of the expansion, the rhinos and elephants could roam together.

“Based on compatibility, we might run the outside exhibits together,” Ace Torre, president of Torre Design Consortium, said. “If you find compatible groups, then it’s interesting to see in the exhibit, what goes on in the wild.”

Torre told the Journal Record that the estimated cost of the expansion is around $13.5 million and it’s expected to open in 2019.

Zoo officials say the zoo’s long term-master plan also includes updates to other exhibits.

“We’re working on the next big project for where the rhinos are and turning that into the Africa exhibit, and the pachyderm building will be event space,” Dwight Lawson, Oklahoma City Zoo executive director, said. “We’re also looking into what’s next for the aquatics building that needs some TLC.”

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