KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Zoo shows off progress on its new 600,000-gallon, $77 million aquarium.
To fund the project, the zoo used $45 million from the zoo district sales tax, which voters approved in 2011. Private donations covered the balance.
Crews are putting the finishing touches on tanks before filling them with water. The zoo says it expects to be finished with the tanks by June.
Then it will be up to the zoo to get the fish, turtles, and other sea creatures acclimated to their new homes.
Most of the fish are in Wichita, Kansas, right now. The Kansas City Zoo said there were delays on materials needed to build the tanks. The delays forced to zoo to lease tanks from a Wichita company. The company is taking care of a bunch of fish from Australia.
“The types of planes that come to the United States from Australia that ship fish can only go during certain times, so we had to have them come in, which was about a month ago, because they’re going to stop those planes from coming here, so just making sure that the fish got here,” Sean Putney, KC Zoo Director, said.
Even with the delays, Putney says the overall aquarium project is still on time and on budget. It is expected to open in September.
The new addition will give visitors a look inside 34 exhibits featuring fish, corals, turtles, and plants. It features six major habitats of warm and cold-water environments.