Heart of the Zoo

Rebuilding the heart of the zoo

With more than 340,000 guests annually, Zoo Boise is one of the most visited attractions in Idaho. Zoo Boise provides school children, families, and adults opportunities to interact, learn, and be inspired to protect wildlife.

In the last 15 years, Zoo Boise has constructed and opened the African Plains Exhibit, Conservation Plaza, and Gorongosa National Park Exhibit. Unfortunately, many of our older exhibits and facilities no longer meet Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) standards and the zoo’s accreditation depends on upgrading these habitats.

Now is the time that we must rebuild the Heart of the Zoo and ensure that Zoo Boise exceeds all standards for animal welfare, provides excellent and unique education opportunities for our community, and leads the way for conservation among zoos.

New Red Panda Home

A new red panda complex will replace our current exhibit, built as a temporary exhibit in 2004.

The new complex will:
● Provide adequate space for cubs.
● Window for guests to view into the nursery/day room.
● Include an accessible pathway for guests.
● Add more climbing opportunities.
● Ability to maintain comfortable temperatures for the red pandas.

The new red panda habitat will resemble an Asian forest full of lush vegetation and an overhead tree canopy. It will contain unique outdoor habitats, indoor day rooms and nursery, and an overhead walkway to allow the red pandas to move between different areas.

New Education Campus

Education is at the heart of what we do, but we have outgrown our space. Our 1,500-square foot education office currently serves more than 3,500 education program participants and 350+ volunteers and ZooTeens. It also houses eight employees and several interns.

With space at a premium:
● Summer camp programs are held in outdoor tents, even in the middle of summer.
● Volunteer check-in and training often occur in cramped spaces.

A new education campus will address these issues with multiple classrooms, offices, new outdoor spaces, added animal habitats outside the building, and renovation of the Small Animal Kingdom.

More to come in the full master plan

As you explore our new master plan, you’ll see everything from expanded habitats and improved support facilities to innovative new enrichments and breeding opportunities. Through careful planning, we’ve gone all in for our animals! Because, as leaders in global conservation, we knew it was imperative that our growth continues to set us apart in our care for wildlife at home and around the world. You will also see a strong focus on our other passion – you! As a member of our local and global community, we have created this plan with the goal of inspiring every guest who walks through our gates. Through new species, animal encounters, and added amenities, our new master plan ensures Zoo Boise will be a cornerstone of our community for generations to come.

Rendering of the future Red Panda Habitat.

Purchase a Commemorative Tile

Leave a legacy by purchasing a tile with your name, the name of someone special, or your kids’/grandkids’ names on it. These tiles will become part of the new red panda exhibit.

Rendering of the future Red Panda Habitat.

There are many ways you can help:

Donate Online

Donate By Phone

Call 208-608-7737 to donate over the phone.

Contact us

Have a question about donating or the Heart of the Zoo Campaign?

Please note Zoo Boise appreciates donations by check whenever possible in order to save on credit card and online fees and to maximize donations.