Estimated to cost a total of $8 million, the exhibit will feature a pride of up to ten lions, including cubs every few years. When completed, the project also will feature increased seating capacity in the Maasai Market Café and climate-controlled views into the exhibit, new habitats for leopards, and a new outdoor exhibit for meerkats. Since launching the capital campaign in April, the zoo has raised more than $2.1 million for the exhibit.
"Mr. Sanford's generosity has helped move the Great Plains Zoo forward in many exciting ways over the years," said Elizabeth A. Whealy, president and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History. "His generous gift to our upcoming lion exhibit will help us create amazing, up-close experiences for children and families for years to come."
"The Great Plains Zoo is a tremendous community asset for recreation and education," said T. Denny Sanford. "I'm proud to help connect the children and families of Sioux Falls with the powerful learning experiences that a new Lion exhibit will provide."