An aquarium could soon be coming to the KC Zoo

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Discussions are underway to bring a new attraction to the zoo.

The city may ask voters next year to approve bonds to build an aquarium.

With the popularity of the movie "Finding Dory" this summer, parents say their kids are interested in undersea life now more than ever.

"We just watched Finding Nemo so they very much enjoy that right now, and we would love to see that," said Emily Farwell, a Leawood, Kan., mother who brought her children to the zoo.

The zoo already has used bonds to help build the popular polar bear exhibit, which opened in 2010 at a cost of $11-million.

No budget has been set yet for a potential aquarium at the zoo, but parents like the idea, even though Kansas City already has the $15-million Sea Life aquarium at Crown Center.

"I think that’s a valid concern," said Marc Harman, a Kansas City parent. "That said, I think the zoo gets enough patrons that are going to come here anyway and check out the aquarium, a new aquarium. I don’t know that it will take anything away from Crown Center."

Adding an indoor attraction would help the zoo combat Kansas City's summers, when triple-digit heat often puts a damper on attendance.

An overcast day is bringing more visitors out to the zoo. They're coming to see new attractions such as the koalas that are here this year, and they're happy to see a renovation underway of the giraffe exhibit.

A larger aquarium has been talked about for Kansas City for the last 20 years, with some saying the focus should be different, showcasing native creatures that are found in rivers and streams around the metro area.