The Future of Your Zoo
Bigger Spaces. Smiling Faces.
Thanks to the support of Tucson voters in the November 2017 election, the future of your zoo is bright. We are excited to share the details of the master plan that will mean bigger spaces and smiling faces — for animals and guests alike. Your zoo will be transformed into one of the best in the nation — and even more of a national leader in animal care and conservation. You’ll be transported around the world as we expand into Asia with thematic habitats, an adventure area for learning through play, and more opportunities to get up close to some of your favorite animals. You’ll trek through the winding paths of Africa where you can get nose to snout with a pygmy hippo at an underwater viewing area, watch lions and giraffes enjoying improved habitats, plus so much more! We’ve already started painting, repairing and refreshing your zoo.
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We’re bringing Asia to you! In this new area, you’ll stroll through ancient Asian temple ruins, get up close to red pandas, fishing cats, Malayan tigers, and brilliantly-plumed birds. Huge siamangs will swing overhead as their songs resonate around you. Next you’ll find a new Tropical Discovery Center, home to the reptiles of Asia — including the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard, as well as small mammals such as giant fruit bats.
The beautiful Lotus Pavilion will be a great community asset for meetings, weddings, and events. Kids will love exploring the exciting Angel Charity for Children World of Play adventure zone near the Conservation Learning Center. This phase also includes improvements completed in 2020 to the zoo’s Welcome Plaza, as well as the new Flamingo Lagoon at the front of the zoo.
For more information about the site for Pathway to Asia click here.
Phase 2 will bring exciting and important improvements to the center of the zoo! This phase will add a new animal to the Africa area that Zoo guests have been requesting for years – hippos! You will be enchanted as you watch pygmy hipps floating by in their underwater viewing window or as they walk around in their spacious habitat. Reid Park Zoo will fulfill its promise of bigger spaces as we make improvements to night areas and outdoor habitats for lions, giraffes and more.
Phase 3, the final phase of this master plan, includes infrastructure improvements to the South America area, including better lighting and replacing aging plumbing. This will also include improved areas for the animals such as an improved pacu cave and other enhancements. Additionally, Phase 3 will include an expanded gift shop and conference room. Ahead of schedule: some of the Phase 3 projects such as the expanded Andean bear habitat completed in 2020 and the new sloth habitat opening in 2023, have been completed as smaller projects ahead of schedule.