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Fresno Chaffee Zoo Opens New African Adventure

Diana Aguilera
Valley Public Radio
Kids from all over the Central Valley went to the grand opening of the new African Adventure.

The Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s new African Adventure exhibit has officially opened to the public. As FM89’s Diana Aguilera reports families flocked to Thursday’s grand opening to greet the animals.

It was a day of celebration at the zoo as the 13 acre grand savannah opened to the public. As families walked around they were able to see a diverse collection of animals including African elephants, cheetahs, and rhinos, many of which weren’t previously at the zoo.

Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s executive director Scott Barton says the exhibit wouldn’t be a reality if it wasn’t for Measure Z.  That’s the one-tenth of a cent sales tax first approved by Fresno County voters in 2004.

“With that support we’ve been able to dream big,” Barton says. “We want people to be able to imagine they’re actually in Africa so not only the animals but also the architecture, the art, the music. We want people to feel like they’ve been transported when they come here.”

The new exhibit cost about $56 million and offers panoramic views of the animals. 

Diana Aguilera is a multimedia reporter native of Santiago, Chile. It was during her childhood in Santiago where her love for journalism sparked. Diana moved to Fresno while in her teens and is a proud graduate of California State University, Fresno. While earning her degree in journalism and minor in Latin American studies, Diana worked for the Fresno Bee. Her work as a general assignment reporter continued after college and was recognized by the California Newspaper Publishers Association. In 2014, she joined Valley Public Radio. Her hobbies include yoga, traveling and reading.