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Zoo Hopes For Funds From Future Bonds To Improve Site

The El Paso Zoo is hoping to be added to the 2012 Quality Of Life Bond so that it can secure $35 million to $50 million in taxpayer money to improve the popular landmark.

“The zoo actually brings in a lot of tourism. This is the only zoo that we really have within a 500-mile radius. The next closest one would be in Albuquerque or in San Antonio,” said city representative for District 3 Emma Acosta.

It’s not just tourism that makes the zoo a borderland blessing.

Many local schools make yearly treks to the attraction to show students exotic plants and animals.

“You see the diversity of the different types of animals, especially in an area where you’re not used to seeing them. The children are really educated a lot by that,” said El Pasoan and zoo-goer Scott Smith.

The zoo saw some great new additions from the last bond in 2000, which brought a new sea lion exhibit and even an African animal section that featured lions and zebras and other exotic animals.

If the zoo gets the new funds, plans are already under way to add quite a few new attractions, animals, and even finish a new reptile house.

“If we were to have that reptile house, I think people would just flock here to see that because it’s so unique,” said Acosta.

But before the zoo can even have access to those funds, El Pasoans have to send in comment cards for the bond by the end of February, saying they want a portion of the money to go towards the facility.

Comment cards can be found online, as well as at the zoo and local government buildings, including the museums and senior centers. Those forms can be submitted at the same place where you get them.

If the zoo makes it onto the bond, the vote will be cast later this year in November.

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