Zoo unveils $500 million expansion plan

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- Half a billion dollars could make a lot of zoo-goers happy. The St. Louis Zoo is creating its wish list of dream additions. The master plan will cover projects over the next 25 years.

Right now, the plan is made up of hopes and wishes not reality.

The master plan covers the next quarter of a century of redevelopment and expansion of one of the city’s crown jewels.

The 14 acres the organization acquired in 2012 may one day become a parking lot and hotel. The land was once the site of the old Deaconess Hospital. A planned gondola ride would carry people from one side of Interstate 64 to the zoo.

The current parking lot may be turned into giant grassland filled with all sorts of animals including giraffes and lions. There are plans for new buildings for snakes and monkeys.

The zoo doesn’t have the cash to do all of this. Typically new exhibits are funded by the generosity of citizens and donations from large companies. Zoo-goers like Jennifer Cook welcome any improvements, “You need to preserve not even the next 25 years the next 50, 100 years kind of what they did with Forest Park and Forest Park Forever they had the vision to make that a long term thing.”

Much of the last master plan did not come to life. The same probably holds true for some of this plan.