Zoo Construction: Progress Report for Spring 2017

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Zoo Construction: Progress Report for Spring 2017

This is an update to our construction blog post from earlier this year.

2017 is a year of discovery for guests visiting Nashville Zoo. Along with the Zoo’s celebration of its 20th anniversary at Grassmere, guests will also celebrate and experience the openings of four new animal exhibits: Andean bear, Mexican spider monkey, Sumatran tiger, and Southern white rhino. Over 890,000 visitors strolled along pathways in 2016 and witnessed the construction progress of each of these unique exhibits. 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 change 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:

  • Elephants – Last year, our elephants safely moved to The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, TN so we could begin our long-term plans to eventually expand our elephant collection.
  • 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

Setbacks on the Andean Bear exhibit has delayed its opening. Guests can expect to see the large Andean Bear area opening by summer. Our renovated tiger exhibit is aggressively moving forward while we complete major work on the Andean bear exhibit. Our plan is to have an enhanced tiger exhibit ready by the end of summer.

Here are some photos to provide you with a visual update on our progress and plans:

Andean Bear Exhibit Construction
Aerial photo of the Andean bear exhibit taken in October 2016.
Recent construction photos from early February 2017.


Tiger Exhibit Construction
Aerial photo of the tiger exhibit construction taken in October 2016.


White Rhinoceros Exhibit

Our White Rhinoceros exhibit (formerly the African Elephant Savanna) needed several alterations to insure a safe and comfortable environment for our incoming rhino herd. Heavy vehicles used inside the habitat caused turf destruction across large areas. We have sewn new grass and will let it establish before releasing rhinos into the exhibit.


We are working diligently to complete all of our work as quickly as possible. Our passion for creating outstanding animal environments requires careful thought and attention to detail. The end result will be a beautiful zoological park and a source of pride for Nashville. We appreciate your support of the Zoo and welcome you to join us in celebrating our 20th year at Grassmere with the opening of these outstanding additions.

Posted by Nashville Zoo at 10:00

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