Leading SA: San Antonio Zoo CEO, Tim Morrow, discusses upcoming changes

Structural renovations, new exhibits and the return of gorillas!

SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Zoo is a staple of family-friendly fun in and around San Antonio, and there are big changes on the way!

Tim Morrow, San Antonio Zoo CEO, joined Leading SA to talk about what we can expect.

“There’s a lot of changes going on at the zoo right now. We’re really growing and improving. The biggest one that people are going to notice is an all-new entrance coming in that construction has already begun. So the zoo is operating with two new entrances. And then in the next 12 months, people will see our old entrance that was built in the 1950s come down, and a beautiful grand new entrance that really better represents San Antonio and represents our zoo will be coming out of the ground and open up later this year,” Morrow said.

There are also new exhibits on the way!

“We had a butterfly house that was temporarily built 20 years ago, and now [we will have] a new beautiful glass butterfly house that can be opened year round. Our Kronkosky Tiny Tot Nature Spot will open fully this year, so we’re really excited about that. And then some new species will be coming, like meerkats this year and things that we’ve not had before. So lots of changes are happening at the zoo, lots of positive things, and lots of excitement being generated here. We’re really excited about 2023,” Morrow said.

Morrow says these changes will become noticeable sooner than later!

“Everyone, they should see a new front gate this year. So we’re really excited about opening that around Christmas time, around the beginning of our Zoo Lights program,” Morrow said.

One of the most exciting new attractions is gorillas!

“The other big thing we have coming is gorillas. We haven’t had a gorilla at San Antonio Zoo since 1991. We’re building a very large habitat, actually designed is the largest habitat in the country. So we’re hoping to have up to ten or 12 gorillas. I’m really excited about that. And that should open early 2025. And then the kronkosky tiny tot nature spot and our new butterfly house are opening now so people can come for spring break or this month and start to experience those things. But lots of big changes coming to the zoo,” Morrow said.

Recently there has been a string of zoo issues across the country. Morrow shared details on how the San Antonio Zoo stays prepared, even working closely with local law enforcement.

“So as an accredited zoo and as a zoo operator the safety of the people that come here, the people that work here, and the animals is always a top priority. And so, you know, we have security on the grounds 24 hours a day. We’re monitoring through cameras and people 24 hours a day or animal care staff is doing checks of habitats. And so we are really focused on safety. We work very closely with the San Antonio Park Police, the San Antonio police, and the Bexar County sheriff, especially when things like this start happening around the country. We’re in very close contact, so we’re working really hard to keep the zoo safe, keep the animals safe, and keep operating in a manner where people can feel comfortable coming here and not have to worry about something happening or something happening to our animals,” Morrow said.

About the Author

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.

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