First Look: Fort Worth Zoo Opens Immersive New Exhibit

It's here: The first phase of the Fort Worth Zoo's A Wilder Vision project is now open. 

The zoo unveiled its African Savanna exhibit Thursday, revealing a 10-acre, panoramic habitat where animals like giraffes, zebras and African birds share space and interact with one another. The grand opening is set for Saturday. 

Among the exhibit's features are opportunities to feed giraffes, as well as observe hippos through a 70-foot-long underwater viewing area. 

A viewing area allows visitors to observe hippos underwater. 

African Savanna also features separate spaces for animals like rhinos and flamingos, as well as private event space and a "marketplace" area where guests can purchase food and gifts. 

The exhibit is the first to open as part of A Wilder Vision, the zoo's $100 million renovation project launched in 2016. Private donors, including the Bass family and Amon G. Carter Foundation, raised the initial $90 million, while the public was tasked with raising the remaining $10 million. According to Fort Worth Zoo President Ardon Moore, the zoo exceeded its initial fundraising goal. 

The design of the food and gift shop area is meant to mimic an African market. 

The next phase in the project is Elephant Springs, which will nearly triple the size of the current elephant yard and hold a 420,000-gallon pool. It's expected to open in 2020.