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Brandywine Zoo begins campaign for third stage of renovations

The 115-year-old zoo in Wilmington hopes to bring in sloths, flamingos and Southern Pudus, the world’s smallest type of deer— if it can raise the money. 

The Brandywine Zoo has embarked on a campaign to raise $5 million to continue its transformation. The zoo’s multi-million dollar master plan unveiled more than a year ago aims to increase attendance and improve both visitor experience and animal welfare.

The zoo is using a $5 million commitment from the state environmental agency to fund the first two phases. So far, it has completed a new condor exhibit and bee display, is in the design phase for a quarantine facility, and is building a new Madagascar exhibit.

Now the zoo is hoping to raise more money from the private sector to pay for phase three — a new South American wetlands habitat, which would include the sloths, flamingos and pudus.

Delaware Zoological Society Executive Director Mike Allen says the third phase also includes a facelift for the zoo.

“A new, iconic entry place to be able to see the zoo when you’re coming by,” he said. “I think one of the challenges we have now is people drive right by and don’t realize the zoo is here, and it will really sort of make it pop to the eye.”

The new Madagascar exhibit is expected to open this fall. The main section of the zoo is currently closed for renovations but reopens April 4. 


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