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Group Applying Pressure To Kings, City, To Adopt Sacramento Zoo's Natomas Relocation Plan

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Could the Sacramento Zoo make the move to the Natomas zip code?

The idea for the zoo move to the old arena land was quickly squashed by Kings owners last year when the team formally submitted plans to build housing on the site. But that's not stopping zoo activists from pushing the Kings to make the land a new home for the animal kingdom.

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"Our slogan is 'we want a zoo', but we're also saying today that we want a promise fulfilled," said Brandy Tuzon-Boyd, founder of a grassroots group called We Want a Zoo.

The group hosted a community meeting on Saturday in Natomas. They are pushing the Kings and the city of Sacramento to make the old and empty Kings arena the new home for an expanded zoo.

"The point of our campaign is holding the city to the promise, they made to our community when they relocated the Kings downtown, that something meaningful would replace the arena," said Tuzon-Boyd said.

In November 2018, the zoo's director first proposed the move to the 180-acre arena site, complete with renderings of what would be a drive-thru safari, hotel, and hippo habitat. Within days of that, the Kings owners submitted alternate plans for housing and retail.

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The team issued a statement in November reading: "We have collected feedback from city leaders, stakeholders, and interested parties to develop a dynamic plan that is capable of adapting to a broad range of opportunities."

The city council will be considering the Natomas arena redevelopment, including an environmental impact report, in the coming weeks.

"I would hate to see it become high-density housing; they're already building that behind my house," said one person.

"Sacramento is centrally located; right now we have a great zoo in San Diego, but that's 600 miles to the south. This is dead center, it would bring a lot of people to this area," said one person.

"The zoo proposal, which came out before the Kings proposal, is just a beautiful fit," said Tuzon-Boyd.

The zoo director is seeking a new site because he says the zoo current land park location is so small, it could threaten the zoo's accreditation.

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