ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Voters have approved a $15 million bond that will pave the way for substantial upgrades at the Abilene Zoo.

During Tuesday night’s General Election, the City of Abilene’s Bond Proposition ‘A’ ($15 million for Zoo Upgrades), passed, with 59% of voters for the proposition and 41% against.

This money will now be used to start Phase 1 of the Zoo’s 4 Phase expansion project they’re calling ‘A Bold Adventure’.

Initial upgrades will include the following:

  • Rhino Habitat Expansion
  • Event Stage and Lawn
  • Mixed-species Habitat
  • Café
  • Interactive Experience
  • Lion Habitat
  • Cheetah Habitat

Project organizers note that the café will be attached to the new lion habitat on one side, allowing diners to have floor-to-ceiling views of the pride through glass panels.

Cheetahs and meerkats will be incorporated into the first phase of the expansion as well.

“These habitats will feature highly interactive elements. Imagine climbing through a small tunnel to pop up into the meerkat habitat or climbing into the cockpit of a small plane and finding yourself mere inches from a napping lion,” an overview of the project explains.

To learn more about all four phases of ‘A Bold Adventure’, visit the Abilene Zoo’s website.

One of the City of Abilene’s other bond propositions, $28 million for new recreation centers, passed, but one for $9 million for a hiking and biking trail around Kirby Lake failed.

This is a total of $43 million worth of new bonds, which will be reflected in property tax payments for Fiscal Year 2025. Right now, the bonds at $52 million were projected to impact to tax rate by about $0.48, but that number could change as property values are assessed and the tax rate is finalized for that year. 

Click here to get more election results from across the Big Country and the State of Texas.