Greenville Zoo Receives $1 Million to Upgrade Customer Experience, Enhance Sustainability Effort

Autumn the giraffe at Greenville Zoo.
Greenville Zoo

The Greenville Zoo will use $1 million in state funds awarded to the Greenville Zoo Foundation to upgrade, renovate and expand five animal exhibits.

“This is huge news for the Zoo!” said Zoo Administrator Bill Cooper. “This will allow us to connect visitors to the Zoo like never before by creating experiences that inspire people to care about animals and wild places.”

Projects receiving funds:

  • A new Africa Plaza with an ADA compliant pathway that will potentially house a lion training wall and a new exhibit.
  • A giraffe feeding platform where guests will get an up-close, educational experience with the zoo’s tallest attraction.
  • A siamang exhibit and orangutan holding area renovations that will expand the current housing to meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums standards.
  • And a farmyard renovation that will not only make the current area larger but will bring an educational component with animal encounters.

The total cost of the projects above is approximately $5 million. The state money is a big boost as the zoo seeks private funds to supplement its needs.

“This funding allocation from the State budget reaffirms the importance of the Greenville Zoo to our community and to South Carolina,” Councilwoman Dorothy Dowe said. “It will assist us in continuing to expand a treasured facility that supports education and conservation efforts worldwide.”

The money will help the Greenville Zoo move forward on its three main priorities: animal conservation, education and improved customer experiences. It will also help the zoo remain accredited by keeping up with changing animal practices and exhibit standards.

“This type of funding helps us fulfill our mission of saving animals from extinction,” Cooper said. “I am grateful to Representative Chandra Dillard, the Greenville Zoo Foundation and Councilwoman Dorothy Dowe for helping make this happen.”

Lydia Thomas, the executive director of the Greenville Zoo Foundation, echoed Cooper’s gratitude.

“We are thrilled to be awarded with $1 million in state funding this year,” she said. “We are so thankful for State Representative Chandra Dillard, who championed our cause and facilitated our request. City Council Member Dorothy Dowe was instrumental in connecting us with Chandra and supporting the Foundation.”

Maintaining AZA accreditation means the Greenville Zoo is enhancing the species survival mission and improving its standards of animal health, conservation and education.

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