Governor Cooper proposes budget to expand NC state zoo

ASHEBORO, N.C. — Governor Cooper is looking to bring new life to the North Carolina state zoo for the first time since 1994, by proposing a new continent area.

Channel 9′s partners at the Charlotte Observer reported that Cooper’s proposed budget includes 50 full-time staff positions for the new Asia continent exhibit, which is set to open in 2026.

The new Asia continent exhibit will join existing Africa and North America exhibits, making it the largest natural habitat at a zoo.

Cooper’s budget doesn’t stop at a new continent exhibit; funding will also be used to take down the old aviary building and design a replacement.

In addition to the state zoo upgrades, the governor has asked for an additional $25 million for the ‘Great Trails State Fund’, which will eventually connect all 100 North Carolina counties by trails.

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