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Heart of the Zoo

Getting Ready for a LONG and Exciting Future of the Henry Vilas Zoo!

Here at Henry Vilas Zoo we are excited to announce we will be developing a new home for our giraffe(s).  Animal welfare is always our highest priority and the Giraffe building housing is out of date and no longer meets space requirements. AZA accreditation standards have also advanced zoological understanding of appropriate environments for giraffes. Within this new facility, our dedicated keepers can provide exceptional care for our giraffes and nurture the loving relationship they have with these animals. Our new giraffe barn will be state-of-the-art and will provide the necessary modern amenities for the health and well-being of our giraffe, including areas to be used for medical and husbandry training, weighing, and for voluntary medical procedures.

This exciting new project will also feature a giant indoor ”herd room”, built in enrichment features, and both indoor and outdoor feeding platforms for guests to get up close and personal in a safe manner.

When completed, the exhibit will serve as the year-round home to the giraffe and will be the first project in a series of new exhibits in an area of the Zoo that will be known as Edge of Africa.

The Dane County Board of Commissioners are eagerly working in concert with Zoo leadership to finalize the plans for this new facility and recently announced they have committed $9,300,000 towards the projected cost of this project with the 2024 budget.

Heart of the Zoo Updates

Get more information about our upcoming plans for the future!