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San Diego Zoo receives $30-million gift for new children's zoo

Posted: 2:50 PM, Jan 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-13 22:50:57Z

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A $30-million gift is going toward a new children's zoo in Balboa Park.

The generous donation from philanthropist T. Denny Sanford made to the San Diego Zoo Friday will go toward the $69-million construction of The Sanford Children's Zoo.

"This project is the most ambitious ever undertaken at the San Diego Zoo and will result in a one-of-a-kind children’s zoo for the 21st Century," Mark Stuart, president of the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global, said. "Denny Sanford’s philanthropy is all about making the world a better place for children. Thanks to his transformational investment, San Diego will have the very best children’s zoo in the world."

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The donation is the single largest donation to the zoo ever, zoo officials said.

The current children's zoo, which opened in 1957, will undergo a "reimagined" 2.3-acre uplift and feature more than 100 species of animals.

San Diego Zoo plans to begin a fundraising effort immediately for the children's zoo. Officials anticipate closing the current children's zoo in January 2019 with the new zoo opening Spring 2021.