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Sacramento Renews Interest In Zoo Relocation Sites

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new effort is underway in the search for the Sacramento Zoo's next location. Sacramento city leaders are taking a look at several sites in hopes of keeping the zoo from relocating to Elk Grove.

The Sacramento Zoo is a fan favorite for families, which is why mom Gabrielle Cooper is excited for the possibility that it could be relocated to her South Sacramento neighborhood at the current undeveloped site of the Regional Sanitation buffer lands.

"I think there is a good amount of people who don't come down here unless they live here. I think if it is something like a zoo that will get the kids together, it will make a lot of people aware of the neighborhood," Cooper explained.

The zoo's current home in Land Park is 94 years old and sits on less than 15 acres. Zoo officials explained that their cramped quarters are putting their accreditation at risk.

In September, the zoo entered a six-month exclusive negotiation with Elk Grove to possibly relocate there. CBS13 talked to zoo officials in September who explained the reason behind the need to move.

"Over the years, we've lost many of the animals that call the zoo home and we've lost them for good reason. We didn't have the space to provide them with the life that they needed and to meet with modern standards of animal care," explained Elizabeth Stallard, President, Board of Trustees Sacramento Zoo.

Sacramento is still looking at sites within the city, including at Del Paso Regional Park in the north and the Job Corps site in the South as possible locations for animals to thrive.

"I think it's a good idea. I think all the kids in the neighborhood would like it," explained parent, Maria Ramirez.

But not all neighbors near the Job Corps agree. Manuel Guido, who has lived in the neighborhood for more than 30 years, is concerned the relocation could bring more cars to the already busy Meadowview Road.

"Traffic in a small area like this, I don't think it would be a very wise idea," he explained.

Many people are hoping years of debate are decided soon, giving the animals a new place to call home.

"We are going to do whatever we can to put the zoo where it needs to be for the next 94 years," explained Stallard in September.

The former Sleep Train Arena location in Natomas was considered, but plans fell through after the location was picked for a new site for a hospital development.

The Sacramento City Council is set to discuss the future location of the zoo during their November 30 meeting.

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