• First look at new $13.5 million OKC Zoo exhibit

    Construction plans have been put out to bid to greatly expand and enhance the Asia Exhibit at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

    Plans show over 300,000 square feet of building space spread over 15 acres next to the existing Elephant Habitat and bridging into the elevated walkway system.

    The main structure will be a massive Thai temple styled 2-story food court.

    There will be night buildings for rhinos and various other animals, and a elephant crossing to allow them to move from the existing exhibit.

    Animals shown on the plans include Komodo dragon, rhino, elephant, ibis, crane, langur, tanuki, and cassowary.

    Also to be included would be shade structures for the animals, night houses and an elephant and rhino lagoon.

    The new exhibit should start construction soon and open in 2019. Other longer-term plans show the existing Rhino area turned into a sprawling Africa exhibit.

    The Oklahoma City Zoo sees more than 1 million visitors a year.

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