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Construction Update: Summer 2017

Nashville Zoo excitedly opened two of four new exhibits this spring. Guests can now venture along a suspension rope bridge to see four Mexican spider monkeys from a treetop viewing area at Spider Monkey: Treetop Passage as well as watch four young Southern white rhinos wallowing in mud pits at the former elephant habitat.  

While we are excited for the opening of two new exhibits, the Zoo is still working hard to complete construction on its two remaining projects for Andean bear and Sumatran tiger. Everyone here at the Zoo shares the excitement and anticipation of the openings, and we thank you for your patience and support during this time of growth and transformation for Nashville Zoo.  



What animals are off exhibit due to construction? 

Most of the Zoo is not affected by our construction. You can still walk through our popular Kangaroo Kickabout, get up close to our birds in Lorikeet Landing, watch apes play on Gibbon Islands and experience dozens of animal exhibits that have been at the Zoo for years. 

These exhibits are closed due to construction:

  • American Alligator – The path leading from Flamingo Lagoon, past Alligator Cove, and to our two newest exhibits is being repaved and widened to prepare for more foot traffic.
  • Tiger – This exhibit was built in 1989 and was in great need of renovation. The new plans call for an expanded outdoor area for the cats and closer viewing options for our guests.
  • Eurasian Lynx –The exhibit has been closed since early 2015 due to the construction taking place next door at our new Andean Bear exhibit.



Construction Progress Report

We've run into construction issues with our bear habitat which has delayed progress. If there are no other development issues, we hope to have these open later this year. At this time, we do not have exact opening dates.

Andean Bear Exhibit

Crews are currently working on installing lighting, applying interior and exterior wall coverings, as well as completing major water features including waterfalls, pool, and moat that surrounds the exhibit. A jungle themed mural and tropical plants are currently being added to the exclusive exhibit in the women’s restroom.


Sumatran Tiger Exhibit

While the thatch roofing has been completed, there is still work being done on the interior of the new bridge. Because we are expanding the space for the three tigers, we are in the process of moving rock so we can complete the details of the outdoor yard as well as adding new features to the public viewing area.

Zoo Knoxville has generously offered to care for the three Sumatran tigers for a few months while we complete the renovations to the exhibit. The three sisters came from Topeka Zoo and can be seen on exhibit at Zoo Knoxville. They will move to Nashville later this year.

Posted by Nashville Zoo at 11:02 AM


7/3/2017 at 04:32 PM by ROBERT L PERKINS

Cannot wait to experience all the new additions.

7/6/2017 at 12:40 PM by Jenny

I can't wait for the new exhibits!! I miss the kitties!

7/6/2017 at 01:35 PM by Darlene

Thank you for providing more spaces for your tigers and hopefully the water features are for the bear's benefit not people, give them more space and better enrichment.

7/6/2017 at 01:47 PM by Jim McFadden

Thanks for the updates. It is nice that you are telling us what is happening every month or so as that helps us know what to expect. I have been there 2 tires recentral to see the rhinos but no luck yet. For some reason they were not out (it was in the morning) and on another day a structure for shade was being built. Since that is such a long wook (I'm 76), it would be nice to know ahead of time what animals are out and what animals are not. If you had some kind of billboard at the entrance to the zoo showing the animals not on exhibit, that would be great. Keep up the great work!

7/6/2017 at 05:52 PM by allison

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the spider monkey exhibit!!!!! Can you do something to move more cool air into the viewing area -- it's so hot -- can't stay too long and enjoy all the hard work because it's sooooooo dang hot in there under the cover!

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