Heart of the Zoo

Can YOU Help Rebuild 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.

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.

In the last 15 years, Zoo Boise added the African Plains Exhibit, Conservation Plaza, and Gorongosa National Park Exhibit.

Now is the time that we must rebuild the Heart of the Zoo to 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.

A New Home for Red Pandas

The new red panda complex, named the Virginia R. Bartak Red Panda Passage, will contain unique outdoor habitats, indoor day rooms, and an overhead walkway to allow the red pandas to move between different areas. It will replace their current habitat, built as a temporary exhibit in 2004.

The new complex will offer:
● Adequate space for cubs.
● Window for guests to view into the day room.
● An accessible pathway for guests.
● More climbing opportunities.
● Ability to maintain comfortable temperatures for the red pandas.

New Education Campus

Education is at the heart of what we do. Our 1,500-square foot education office currently serves more than 3,500 education program participants, plus more than 350 volunteers and ZooTeens. It also houses eight employees and several interns. Summer camp programs are held in outdoor tents, even in the middle of summer. These limitations hinder our ability to offer programs and volunteer training.

In addition to much-needed office space, the new Education Campus will offer:
• Multiple classrooms
• New outdoor spaces
• Added animal habitats outside the building
• Renovation of the Small Animal Kingdom

What Comes Next? Explore the Zoo Boise Master Plan

We’ve gone all in for our animals! As leaders in global conservation, it is imperative that our growth continues to set us apart in our care for wildlife at home and around the world. 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.

Construction Updates

As renovations begin and exhibits break ground, stay up to date with all Heart of the Zoo happenings.

Rendering of the future Red Panda Habitat.

Leave Your Mark at Zoo Boise

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 Heart of the Zoo.

How Can YOU 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.