Plans for Tennessee Valley zoo research site in peril

The North Alabama Zoological Society only has a short time frame to come up with $4 million to purchase a proposed research site.
Published: Dec. 15, 2021 at 8:20 PM CST
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LIMESTONE CO., Ala. (WAFF) - The North Alabama Zoological Society announced plans to buy two properties for a zoo and research site, and that proposed research site may not even happen. Both of these properties together are going to cost around $11 million.

North Alabama Zoological Society Executive Director Ethan Woodruff says the research site has caught the eye of developers who want to put homes there instead, and the owner is being pressured to sell it. Meanwhile, the zoological society doesn’t have the money to purchase it right now.

Woodruff says the proposed research site itself would be $4 million, which the zoological society does not have. Now, they need the public’s help with financial support if they want to buy that land that would be used for growing food for the zoo, summer camps, STEM activities and more.

WAFF asked about the additional $7 million needed for the actual zoo site and Woodruff says, they don’t have that either. But, he says they feel a lot more confident about purchasing that land.

Woodruff says they only have a short time frame to come up with $4 million to purchase that proposed research site.

”And this is a tough task but, we’d like to see the help for the research site within the next couple months. It’s come down to that at this point, otherwise other means will have to be taken to look for new spots and to continue on with the project,” said Woodruff.

Woodruff says they’ll continue to look for other options if that research site is in fact sold to a developer. You can help support funding these sites by going to

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