Animals free to roam between Savanna habitats for first time in San Antonio Zoo history

Rhinos get new Savanna Crossing at San Antonio Zoo

SAN ANTONIO – It’s a first in the 106-year history of the San Antonio Zoo - the rhinos now have access to the entirely redesigned Savanna and can roam the giraffe yard.

The zoo’s Savanna exhibit is home to giraffes, zebras, ostriches, rhinoceroses, and other African species.

Thanks to a redesign effort that started in 2015, the animals are now free to roam between two previously-separated habitats thanks to the Savanna Crossing.

The crossing is a connection point between the two Savanna habitats that has been in use for decades for vehicle access, zoo officials said. “But in 2015, new zoo CEO Tim Morrow asked the question that changed the area’s long-term plan.”

Morrow pitched an idea and said, “what if we just leave those doors open and allow the animals on each side to roam back and forth?"

Fast forward to 2020 and that dream is now a reality.

“We’ve been patiently but excitedly waiting for this day for over five years. We’re hopeful that these introductions will continue to be successful and that soon guests will see rhinos, giraffes, zebras, cranes, storks, ostriches, and more species roaming together,” said Morrow.

The two rhinos who call San Antonio Zoo home, Reyna and West, were given access through the crossing on Monday and were “just peeking” before having explored the entire area by Tuesday, officials said.

“Creating larger and more natural habitats has been our focus as we continue to modernize the zoo; this new habitat concept provides multiple species more space to roam, on top of rhino habitat expansion which had previously doubled their own space,” Morrow said.


About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.