The Denver Zoo unofficially began with a bear that was a gift to the Denver Mayor at the time, in 1896. 128 years later, the celebrated zoo has announced a large expansion.

If the zoo currently has 3,000 animals, how many more will it have with this new, large expansion?

From a City Park Caretaker to Keeper of a Bear

Back in 1896, when Denver's mayor was given a black bear by a political rival, they ended up putting the bear at Denver's City Park.

The park's lone caretaker had to become the caretaker for a bear. That had to be overwhelming, to say the least.

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How is Denver Zoo Expanding in Colorado?

In Kersey, lies thousands of acres of land owned by Bob Lembke, an urban water broker who, according to the Denver Post, bought the land in 2003.

RELATED: Peyton Manning Helps Denver Zoo Name Lion Cubs

The new acquisition is nearly 600 acres of that land which will become a part of the Denver Zoo, known as The Lembke Family Preserve, Denver 7 reports.

Denver Zoo acquisition area in Kersey
Google Maps,

The New Expansion Won't Really Be a 'Zoo' as You Think of One

This preserve won't be open to the public. That's a shame, as it would be nice for those living in Northern Colorado, Nebraska, and Kansas to be close to a zoo.

What Will the Zoo Use This Land For?

Considering that 600 acres is more than seven times the size of the Denver Zoo at City Park, the zoo will now have more opportunities, especially in a couple of areas:

  • Breeding. The Zoo will have more room for animals to breed and space for those offspring to grow.
  • A temporary holding area for animals from the main zoo. They can use this land to house animals while their habitat at the main zoo gets worked on, as well as other situations that require the removal of animals to "someplace else."

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