Welcome to Zoo Tails! The internet resource for zoos around the world including pictures, video, reviews, news, construction updates, and more. If you're an animal lover then you've come to the right place! Unofficial guide to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
Construction for the new sea lion and Wild World area set to open in 2019 at the Columbus Zoo has officially broken ground.
The paths to get to Jungle Jack's Landing have been walled off.
The former Funnel Cake building and the Animal Encounters Village looked to have been leveled.
The construction is already having an effect on some of the events at the zoo. Last year, there was Trick-or-Treating in the picnic shelter area. This has been spread out around the park for Boo at the Zoo this year. The Sparkling Spruce Tree that was added to Wildlights last year has been moved next to the grizzly bears in the Polar Frontier. Jungle Jack's Landing is completely inaccessible.
Here's my sketch of the area that looks to be under construction.
Back in 2014, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium released some amazing looking long term plans that would see almost every region of the zoo transformed and improved. After the levy failed to pass, it seemed like all of these plans was put on hold indefinitely. That is until the past week when it was announced that sea lions would be coming to Columbus in 2019. But first, let's review some of those earlier plans.
Original Long Term Plans
Conservation Cove will feature sea lions and harbor seals, an amphitheater, a restaurant and the essence
of a rocky Pacific coastline near the zoo’s front door. Up-close and personal experiences with a variety of
other animals - Jack Hanna style! - will complement the sea lion adventure. Wild World will include high
energy activities for visitors that parallel common actions of the animal species exhibited nearby.
The new signature exhibit featuring sea lion and harbor seals will be located at the approximate location of
the old entry gate (utilized before Zoombezi Bay was incorporated into the property in 2008) and partially
encompasses the existing events building and the existing gift shop. The exhibit includes large water
bodies with a deep rocky pool and a more beach-like wave pool. The deep pool section includes a show
space with amphitheater seating for 300 people and an underwater viewing window. Visitors will view the
animals in water and basking on rocky outcrops in the pool. The beach zone will feature a shallower pool
with sandy beaches for basking, deep water channels for swimming, and up close and personal viewing
through glass railings and viewing windows. The two pools are connected by below grade channels that
visitors can walk across and view the sea lions swimming below their feet. A new restaurant, with vistas of
the sea lion pools merging into the existing lake, will welcome visitors with a rustic seaside atmosphere.
Lushly planted bird aviaries with shore and sea species will be adjacent to the sea lion pools.
This zone renovates the existing space between the Entry Village and Zoombezi Bay. The
new exhibits will combine high-energy attractions for visitors with equally high-energy animal
habitats. A variety of interactive activities for zoo visitors such as rope courses and swinging
bridges will be adjacent to and simulate the enriched animal environments, offering play
opportunities that replicate the normal behaviors of the nearby wild animals.
Smoot Construction has been awarded a CM at Risk contract for The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s New Exhibit Region: Wild World/Sea Lions.
This Wild World Exhibit experience shall be salt spray, sea lions and one-on-one animal encounters. Directly inside the Zoo’s Entry Plaza, this region will delight and enchant zoo guests with unforgettable animal encounters, presentations and tours; wild, Jack Hanna-themed experiences; a raucous colony of bellowing seals and sea lions, and much more.
Certain to be an adventure for the entire family, Wild World will be developed in the current Jungle Jack’s landing area and will actually incorporate some of the popular existing rides. The region will be based not on a specific, geographic location, but instead on a fun, nature-oriented and whimsical land where the connection between people and wildlife is celebrated.
Noticed a little construction outside of the Columbus Zoo the other day. Anyone have any idea what this is for? For sure not related to any animal exhibits. Probably some new admin building, tent or shade structure. Maybe even lockers outside of the park.