Nonprofit working to create a zoo in north Alabama

The goal right now is to promote the idea, gain donations, and corporate sponsors.

Posted: Jan 22, 2020 8:18 PM

A nonprofit is working to bring a zoo and aquarium to North Alabama. 

Ethan Woodruff is the chairman for the North Alabama Zoological Society. It is an organization trying to create a zoo that will be unlike any others in the area.

Just this month, it launched its website and Facebook page. The goal right now is to promote the idea, gain donations, and corporate sponsors. Things Woodruff said the project has to have in order to be successful. 

So far, he has the support. More than 7,500 people have liked the Facebook page. If you did not see online, you may have passed a billboard off Memorial Parkway. 

It reads 'A zoo for you North Alabama'. Along with the advertisement are talked with Madison county leaders, including commissioner Craig Hill who said the nonprofit came to him with the idea six months ago.

"The group, they have a great plan," Hill said. "They're working towards a goal and we think it's a great idea for North Alabama."

It is a plan that has a big price tag. Woodruff does not have an exact number, but he said it could cost tens of millions of dollars. He said the zoo will be built in phases, which would allow it to open more quickly. 

As far as where it would be, Woodruff has a few locations in mind, but is not ready to share them. However, he is enthusiastic it will bring economic success to the area, and people I spoke to agree. 

"It brings culture and activities to a community," Daniel Williams said. "It always helps bring in more people and higher income people and paying higher income jobs, lots of veterinarians and people who work in a zoo."

Woodruff said it will take at least two years for this entire process to be complete and for North Alabama to have its own zoo. 

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