Zoo Boise’s Gorongosa National Park Exhibit opened to the public on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. The 2.5-acre expansion highlights the zoo’s conservation efforts across the globe while educating users on efforts to aid the animals and the people who live in Mozambique, Africa.
New Animals, New Exhibit, New Experience at Zoo Boise
Celebrate the Opening of the New Gorongosa National Park Exhibit
The exhibit is home to new animals that are typically found in Mozambique. Visitors can meet African wild dogs, spotted-necked otters, warthogs, a Nile crocodile, vervet monkeys and more. Each animals’ enclosure was designed to mimic existing landscapes and geological features found in Gorongosa National Park.
Original public art inspired by Gorongosa was created by artist Melissa “Sasi” Chambers for the new exhibit. Zoo visitors can interact with the large installation, which was inspired by animals native to the national park including the African elephant, blue wildebeest, the greater kudu and the leopard.
In addition, Zoo Boise partnered with the theater department at Boise State University to bring the sunsets and landscapes of Mozambique to life through paintings on the walls of the indoor exhibits.
The $9 million expansion would not be possible without the fundraising efforts of the Friends of Zoo Boise, a non-profit membership organization that supports Zoo Boise in Animal acquisition, capital improvement projects, education programs, volunteer opportunities and special events.
The zoo’s expansion was also supported by Boise Mayor David Bieter and the Boise City Council.
“We couldn’t be prouder of this new exhibit and the story it tells about our commitment to conservation,” said Mayor Bieter. “This is a wonderful addition for the City of Boise and the entire Treasure Valley community.”
Conservation funds from Zoo Boise have helped improve the animal preserve and support the people who live around it following years of civil war. A portion of each admission fee at Zoo Boise go toward the conservation fund, which also supports projects here at home, including restoration efforts in the Boise Foothills. The zoo was ahead of its time in creating its innovative conservation initiative. The fee is now replicated by zoos across the country.
“We hope this exhibit is eye-opening for our visitors in that they learn about our efforts to protect and preserve wildlife around the world,” said Doug Holloway, Boise Parks and Recreation director. “Visiting the zoo is not just a family tradition here in Boise, its also a conservation action. We are proud of that legacy.”
Parking and Shuttle Information
Parking in Julia Davis Park is available on a first come, first served basis.
Zoo Boise guests who plan to check out the new Gorongosa National Park Exhibit on opening day, July 17, and throughout the rest of July are encouraged to use a free shuttle service provided by Boise Parks and Recreation to get to and from the zoo. The shuttle will pick passengers up near the softball fields in Ann Morrison Park (Ann Morrison Blvd. entrance) and take them directly to the zoo. Signage will be posted to point users to the shuttle stops.
Shuttles will run every 15 to 20 minutes seven days a week starting at 10 a.m. and the shuttles will stop running each day at 5 p.m. (last admission to the zoo each day is at 4:30 p.m.).
Zoo Boise visitors are always welcome to park in Ann Morrison Park and walk the Greenbelt to the zoo. In addition, Boise GreenBikes and e-scooter travel to and from the zoo is a great alternative transportation option.
If you are planning to park inside Julia Davis Park, please keep in mind that there is additional parking behind the zoo that is often still available when parking spots in front and around the Rose Garden are full.