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lion habitat

Building Our Community Pride

Bringing Lions Back to the Great Plains Zoo


Perhaps no place on earth captures our imaginations like Africa – the animals inspire a love of nature, the environment, and the world around us. This multi-phase $5 million campaign will improve the visitor experience and provide top-notch animal care. Join us in "Building Our Community Pride." Donate today!

Imagine sitting down to lunch in the Zoo’s temperature-controlled Maasai Market Café and watching a Lion stalk across rocky terrain while you enjoy your meal. Glass viewing windows allow you to watch these magnificent animals roll, play, and chase each other only feet away from the renovated café.

Lions Cafe View

About the Lion Habitat
This idyllic experience is only a few years away thanks to a $5 million capital campaign that will create: 

  • an African kopje (a small rocky hill) habitat and yard;
  • a holding and viewing building;
  • zookeeper/Lion training demonstration area; 
  • renovations to the Café to enhance the animal viewing experience; and
  • enhanced seating and views into animal habitats.

The complex will offer a natural setting with multiple charismatic Big Cat species. The exhibit will enable visitors to see a pride of up to 10 Lions and cubs. It will also provide a breeding facility for important species that researchers believe could be extinct in the wild in as few as 30 years. View an aerial rendering of the new Lion habitat.

Get Involved: 
If you or your business is interested in supporting the Lion habitat campaign, please call 605.367.8313, ext. 142, or email our Development Department.

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  • Love this zoo! Great place to get a walk in and the animals are everywhere! The museum/indoor part is very educational too. Has a lot of shade for when it's hot out. Very clean. Friendly staff.

    Taylor F.
  • We love to visit the zoo. They have great outdoor exhibits and lots to do inside as well. Great for kids and adults.

    Robin A.
  • Lots of great exhibits and animals to see! Fun gift shop and learning center.

    Stephanie N.
  • The museum gives you a break from the sun on hot summer days and has a great selection of animal exhibits from around the world. ¬†The zoo keeps growing and adding new animal habitats or improving existing ones. ¬†Membership offers reciprocal benefits to other zoos around the country.

    Bill T.