After 91 years in its current Land Park location the Sacramento Zoo may be forced to relocate. That is what zoo officials are saying after a review by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums resulted in a letter suggesting the Sacramento Zoo might be about to lose its accreditation due to a lack of adequate spaces for the animals. Sacramento Zoo director Jason Jacobs said they only have 14.7 acres and no onsite parking.
Jacobs sat down the staff and the board of directors for the nonprofit with contracts with the city to operate the facility, and it was decided the best course of action would be to identify a different location and build a brand new zoo. "It would cost $128 million to renovate the zoo and bring it up to standards," said Jacobs. "For $128 million with the right site we can build a new zoo, and that new zoo will be larger from this zoo on day one." He said that projection is based on what other zoos in the region have been able to do.
As for a new location, Jacobs added that no new site has been identified, though several locations have been discussed with City of Sacramento officials. "It doesn't matter the zoo goes in Sacramento," insisted Jacobs. "It needs to move."
The vision of a new zoo is shared by the community based on polling and surveys, according to Jacobs. "We're a capital city in one of the largest states in the union," he noted. "We should have a zoo that doesn't require us to make choices between having lion and tigers." He claims both species are facing challenges to the very existence in the wild. According to Jacobs, "(with a new zoo) we will have the capacity to help save species, we will be able to accommodate many more visitors, and we will create a better zoo for this community."
The current goal is to have phase one of a new facility completed and ready for a grand opening by the Sacramento Zoo's 100th anniversary in 2027.