ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) — After a yearslong search for a new location, the Sacramento Zoo could move to Elk Grove.
In a joint release sent Thursday, the Sacramento Zoological Society and the city of Elk Grove announced they are entering into a six-month negotiating agreement to decide if the zoo should move to a parcel of land in the southernmost part of the city.
“When we first learned of the zoo’s search for a new home, we knew the project would be a perfect fit and would align with the City’s values. The Elk Grove site will allow the zoo to become one of the country’s world-class zoos while honoring its nearly 100-year history and heritage in the Sacramento region,” said Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen.
If an agreement is reached, it would mean a major upgrade for the Sacramento Zoo in the form of 60 acres of undeveloped land within the Kammerer Road Urban Design Study area.
Before that can happen, the two sides will take six months to see if the relocation makes sense.
“We don’t want any surprises with residents in our community and, overall, we think this is a fantastic project with huge benefits,” said Darrell Doan, economic director for the City of Elk Grove.
Six months is little time when considering the nearly four-year search for a new location. The 94-year-old Sacramento Zoo has been under constant threat of losing its accreditation because of cramped and aging conditions.
“Our first priority is always doing what is best for the animals,” said Zoological Society Board President Elizabeth Stallard. “That commitment is driving this opportunity to provide the zoo’s animals with exceptional care in a larger, more modern facility that can better meet their needs and, in turn, inspire and connect more people with the natural world. We are delighted that the Zoological Society and Elk Grove share a vision for what a new zoo could mean for our region.”
A group called We Want A Zoo had hopes of seeing the zoo relocate to the old Sleep Train site. But just this summer, local officials announced the Sacramento Kings’ old home would be transformed into a new California Northstate University medical school and state-of-the-art teaching hospital.
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg said Thursday that he and the city council will continue to look for options within the city as possible future sites for the zoo.
“We love our zoo,” he wrote. “We are willing to continue looking for viable expansion sites.”