The Arkansas Zoological Foundation is always raising funds to support the conservation learning mission of the Little Rock Zoo. Our funds help support an annual conservation travel program for staff, continual upgrades for zoo facilities and various capital projects such as the Conservation Learning Center set to open in 2020.
The Arkansas Zoological Foundation will soon launch a new capital campaign to bring exciting new exhibits to the Little Rock Zoo. The success of the Laura P. Nichols Penguin Exhibit, Laura P. Nichols Cheetah Outpost, the new Diamond Express Train and the brand new Arkansas Heritage Farm show that private/public partnerships between the City of Little Rock and individual donors can help make our Zoo great. The next major capital campaign for the Zoo will be the largest undertaking of the Zoo Foundation and the City to date. It will renovate a significant portion of the Zoo and feature charismatic animals that will tell a story of wildlife conservation in an immersive and experiential setting.
This one-of-a-kind exhibit features both underwater and above water viewing and is styled to mimic an African beach shoreline. The exhibit is home to more than a dozen South African penguins a species that is endangered in the wild with only about 52,000 adults living in their native ranges. Thanks to the generous donation from the Laura P. Nichols Foundation, the zoo has a place where these animals can breed. In 2016 first time penguin parents Laura (named for Laura P. Nichols) and Domino hatched the zoo’s seventh penguin chick.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Laura P. Nichols Foundation, Zazi and her daughter Maggie call this exhibit home. These speedsters love to stretch their legs in this long, linear exhibit that features two yards for the critically endangered cheetahs and two observation decks for viewing the big cats in their habitat. The African Outpost portion of the exhibit features habitats for naked mole rats and some African reptiles as well as interactive educational displays about the plight of the wild cheetah and the work of Cheetah Conservation Fund to save these animals.
The Zoo’s newest ride, guests can hop on the Diamond Express and take a spin around the newly opened Arkansas Heritage Farm. Along the way, learn about important conservation and protection efforts for our world’s endangered species.
Opened in 2016, the Arkansas Heritage Farm features many species found on many farms around our state. This interactive exhibit partners with Heifer International and educates families all about agriculture and sustainable farming.