SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The Sacramento City Council voted over a year ago to relocate the Sacramento Zoo on account of running out of space to care for some of the animals.
Meanwhile, the zoo is under constant threat of losing its accreditation because of cramped conditions.
After examining eight alternate locations, the city staff eliminated expanding the zoo, which is physically locked in by residential homes. Bing Maloney Golf Course nearby would also have to be closed to use that site.
A $150,000 economic feasibility study settled on two sites in North Natomas: the old Sleep Train Arena property, which is owned in part by the Sacramento Kings, and North Natomas Regional Park, which is owned by the city.
“It’s pretty even. The staff is recommending the one that we own,” project executive Fran Lee Halbakken told FOX40.
North Natomas Regional Park already has visitor amenities and a multi-million-dollar aquatic park has already been approved on the site.
But a group called We Want A Zoo has been pushing hard for the Sleep Train site because it fits in with commercial development. In fact, the study said that location has more opportunities for private zoo funding.
The Sleep Train site has not been ruled out entirely.
“For whatever reason, the city gets control of the Sleep Train site then absolutely that can go forward,” Lee said.
That’s awaiting negotiations, with the Kings’ delays raising some of the $80 million for the long-awaited move.
The Sacramento City Council is scheduled to vote on the Natomas Regional Park site for the new zoo on Tuesday.