Rosamond Gifford Zoo celebrates 100 with plans for the future

May 7, 2014

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse is 100 years old this year. To coincide with that anniversary, the zoo has announced a 20-year new action plan that could change the way the zoo looks like in the future.    

Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney says the anniversary makes it a great time to look towards the future.

“We are also talking about a new master plan and a new vision for ways we can continue to improve the zoo. And when you think about what people envisioned a hundred years ago, I’m sure we have far exceeded people visions about what this zoo would be,” said Mahoney.

Zoo director Ted Fox says the number one strategic goal involves how visitors interact with the animals.

“Enlivening the guest experience right from the beginning, with customer service and more interaction with our volunteers that we depend on, and the staff that can interact with our guests and let them interact with animals of all different species.”      

The plan also includes upgrading the zoo’s facilities. Among other things, new features would include a zip line and adventure course to attract older kids and new play areas for younger children.  

Recommendations over the long term include new exhibits like an African savanna feature, a new elephant pool and a new entryway.

Mahoney wasn’t specific about how much all this would cost, but says it would be shared between the county, the Friends of the Zoo and generous benefactors.