The Niabi Zoo Could Soon Be Open Year Round
Big plans are in the works for Niabi Zoo.
According to the Dispatch-Argus, the zoo has unveiled a 10-year plan that includes utilizing more of the property's acreage, adding new animals, and staying open year-round.
"This plan is hard evidence that Niabi takes seriously its calling to be a regional science education center now and into the future," said Kai Swanson, Rock Island County Forest Preserve Commission president. "If you don't lift your eyes above the horizon a little bit, you won't see what's coming and you won't be able to take advantage of it.
The plan is broken into three phases. Flamingos and prairie dogs will be the first new animals added as part of phase one in spring 2020. Penguins will be added by 2025.
Renovations to the train station, gift shop, concession area, and the addition of a lion habitat and restaurant are all on the agenda as well. These new areas will possibly be situated on acreage that the zoo is not currently using. Niabi sits on 287 acres but uses only 46 acres currently.
The second and third phases will include an expansion of the giraffe habitat.
Other short term projects include adding new shelters, fire pits, a kids dino digging area, and a new zoo information deck.