SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento Zoo officials are still invested in the extensive process of finding a new home for their animals and they haven’t ruled out the Sleep Train Arena site just yet.
“No. We haven’t had anyone tell us to rule it out,” said Executive Director and CEO, Jason Jacobs.
According to Jacobs, relocating is an important step for the zoo and the City of Sacramento. He added that the Sleep Train Arena is still one of several sites being considered.
“I don’t see any bulldozers there just yet. We are going to work with the city and our partners. We have reached out to the Kings,” he said.
Others have reached out to them.
“We’ve had several people contact us with the potential for relocating the zoo to different areas but at this time we’re not able to release those areas,” said Jacobs.
The zoo has been looking to grow beyond its current Land Park location. Jacobs says the need for more space has been an ongoing issue for quite some time now. In fact, the city looked at possible sites about a decade ago, “including the Cal Expo center, Sutter’s Landing and a couple other sites,” Jacobs said.
The hope is to follow through. Especially the because remaining on the zoo’s 14.7 acres would mean letting go of some animals.
“Just this year we’ve sent out our last tiger, we’ve had to send out gorillas, hippos, bears and other animals over the past 25 years,” Jacobs said.
They’re also missing out on the opportunity to prevent extinction, a big component of its mission as a zoo.
“There are species we have a great climate for like rhinoceros but we don’t have the space to accommodate a herd of rhinoceros,” he said.
He says that’s why relocating remains a priority.
“Maybe Sleep Train isn’t going to work out, but we’re going to work with our partners to determine the best course for the zoo and that includes the best location.”
CBS13 reached out to the City of Sacramento as well as the Sacramento Kings for an update on the process but has yet to hear back from them.