In June 1997 the citizens of San Francisco passed Proposition C, a $48 Million General Obligation Bond, for the acquisition, construction and/or reconstruction of San Francisco Zoo facilities and properties, and for all other works, property and structures necessary or convenient for the foregoing purposes. The goals of the Program are to improve animal habitats and exhibits, preserve historic Zoo components, enhance education and conservation opportunities, increase ease of public access, provide additional support facilities, and create a more pleasing Zoo experience in general.
The current hippopotamus exhibit and the Asian rhinoceros exhibit are slated for upgrades. This will include expanding the current rhinoceros exhibit to include the adjacent African elephant exhibit, which is no longer being used, as well as expanding the current hippo exhibit to include the adjacent former pygmy hippo exhibit (currently landscape only), as well as an extensive pool upgrade and expansion. Much of the work that is planned is to create a more comfortable habitat for the animals and to ease the transition between the barn and the exhibit. In addition, the project has goals of facilitating better keeper access and ease of day-to-day routines, access to the exhibits for larger machinery for the bi-annual regarding, and utilities upgrades as required.
The holding facility would be re-configured to house only two species of animals, where it is currently configured for three. This would give better possibilities for keeper interaction as well as better and more space for the animals. Upgrades to the building systems, as well as shift doors, would make for an overall more animal and keeper friendly / efficient environment.