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

Posted at 2:50 PM, Jan 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-13 17:50:57-05

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."


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.