Future Plans

Grow Wild

The opportunity to fulfill Nashville Zoo’s mission of inspiring a culture of understanding and discovery of our natural world through conservation, innovation and leadership has never been greater.

Over 230,000 people were impacted by the Zoo's onsite programs, field trips and community outreach in 2015. The Zoo's education programs offer unique opportunities to connect people of all ages with animals from different parts of the world and educate them about their native habitats.

Nashville Zoo is also actively involved in research, habitat protection, breeding programs and education initiatives around the globe as well as in its own backyard. The Zoo has been instrumental in the conservation and propagation of clouded leopards, giant anteaters, Eastern hellbenders and Puerto Rican crested toads.

Already recognized for creating world-class habitats for many species and providing quality care for a valued animal collection, Nashville Zoo’s goal is to continue connecting Middle Tennesseans with the natural world, encouraging education, environmental literacy, conservation and advocacy.

For more information about this campaign, please email growwild@nashvillezoo.org.
Grow Wild

Dear Friends,

It has been such a joy to watch our Nashville Zoo develop into the community treasure that we all love. Every visitor to the Zoo leaves with lasting memories and a deeper connection to the natural world. Personally, this is why my family and I have supported the Zoo over these many years, and we’ve seen it grow to become a leading resource for education, conservation, and recreation in Middle Tennessee.

Now, with the support of the city, Nashville Zoo has embarked on a comprehensive campaign to Grow Wild. The plan to develop roughly 100 acres on the Grassmere property calls for creating unique and innovative habitats, expanding educational facilities, and ensuring the highest quality of care for our valued animal collection. Your support is vital to the success of this fundraising initiative. We invite you to Grow Wild with us and help shape the future of Nashville Zoo and our great city for generations to come.

Jennifer Frist Campaign Chair


Phase 1 Banner

The Zoo's entrance recently received a new face lift and made it's public debut on April 9, 2016. Because of tremendous growth and record breaking attendance in recent years, the Zoo’s Entry Village was a top priority for renovation in order to enhance the guest experience. It was designed for the day when Nashville Zoo welcomes more than a million visitors each year, which is right around the corner. Take a closer look at Entry Village.

White rhinos are an iconic species that will be an exciting addition to Nashville Zoo.

Our African Savannah will soon become a home to a group of four female captive -born rhinos from South Africa, along with wildebeests and crown cranes.

This spider monkey exhibit will feature between three and five of these lively, inquisitive animals.

For a closer viewing experience, guests will be able to watch these primates from a vantage point in the treetops.

Expansion of the current tiger exhibit began in 2015 with the move of MyLee and Sareeka, the Zoo’s sister Bengal tigers.

Improvements to the exhibit will enlarge the tigers’ habitat and night quarters, as well as increase guest viewing areas.

The climate-controlled structure for guests will include: reinforced glass panels for the closest possible visitor experience with these majestic cats; a training panel so guests can interact with keeper staff; interactive displays to engage and educate visitors about tiger conservation.

Exhibit Rendering

Already involved with conservation of this species in the wild, Nashville Zoo is excited to develop a breeding program for this highly endangered omnivore.

As part of a multiple species exhibit, this Peruvian biome will include pudus (the world’s smallest deer), viscachas (which look like rabbits with long bushy tails), sloths, guinea pigs, and marmosets.

The exhibit will feature a Peruvian style lodge containing educational, interpretative, and interactive displays.

A new veterinary center, designed to exceed AZA accreditation guidelines for zoo healthcare facilities, will allow Nashville Zoo’s veterinary staff to provide quality care to over 400 species.

A new state-of-the-art veterinary medical center will serve as a teaching center, connecting local colleges and universities with opportunities to learn about diagnosis, treatment, and management of animal health.

Phase 2 Banner

This 40-acre exhibit will showcase lions, giraffe, zebra, hippos, rhinos, cheetah and a variety of other African species. Guests will enjoy watching the animals interact at the large watering hole, and participating in a unique giraffe feeding experience from the platform inside the African Lodge.

This 5,770-square-foot facility will include classrooms accommodating up to 196 people, storage space, a meeting room, an improved staff break room, and public restrooms. A dedicated education center with sufficient classroom and volunteer space will provide an interactive, hands-on environment that inspires learning in guests of all ages.

Phase 3 Banner

Nashville Zoo will bring the forest of Africa to Nashville with the completion of the African experience. This leafy habitat will be home to okapi, mandrill baboons, bongo antelope, several guenon (primates), red river hogs and a family of gorillas. The gorilla exhibit will be the centerpiece of the African Forest and will be one of the most progressive and natural gorilla exhibits in the country.

For more information about this campaign, please email growwild@nashvillezoo.org.

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