Fresno Chaffee Zoo Expanding Into Roeding Park

Fresno Chaffee Zoo in expanding and it's going to use 19-acres from Roeding Park. The zoo recently received permission to expand from the "National Park Service" and the State of California.

The new exhibit will be called "African Adventure" and will have giraffe's, lions, elephants, white rhinos and cheetahs.

"It really gives better quality of life to the residents in the Valley and the county," says Fresno Chaffee Zoo Executive Director Scott Barton, "This is something great for you to do with friends, family, and children."

When the "African Adventure" moves into Roeding Park many people are wondering what's going to happen to the park's trees that are than a 100 years old. The zoo says only trees that are sick or dying will be ripped out of the ground. The rest of the tress will stay and be part of the exhibit."

"We love trees, we want to save them," adds Barton, "The designers really went above and beyond to make sure we save as many trees as possible."

However, the group "Save Roeding Park" has major concerns about the expansion.

They say..."With this tragic federal decision, Fresno citizens will see hundreds of huge, historic shade trees ripped out of Roeding Park over the next several months."

The group also adds they are worried about the park loosing space.

"Many acres that have been open and available for free since 1903 will be placed behind barbed-wire-topped fences. The entire southeastern quadrant of Roeding Park will, for the first time in 110 years, only be accessible by those who are willing and able to pay the zoo's entry fees," adds Save Roeding Park.

The total cost of expanding the zoo is $55-million. The zoo's executive director says money for the project is already in the bank.