A. O. Smith Foundation sponsors zoo’s ‘Adventure Africa’ exhibit


Elephant Exhibit Rendering

The A. O. Smith Foundation is contributing to the creation of the Milwaukee County Zoo’s Adventure Africa exhibit. Adventure Africa which features elephants, hippos, rhinos and other African hoofstock animals, represents some of the oldest exhibits at the zoo.

The Zoological Society of Milwaukee, in partnership with the Milwaukee County Zoo, launched a capital fundraising campaign, called Window to the Wild. The Window to the Wild campaign will initially support the development of Adventure Africa, a new dynamic year-round multi-species habitat that reimagines 25 percent of the zoo’s footprint.

Elephant Exhibit Rendering One of the oldest areas of the Zoo, and first to get remodeled within Adventure Africa, is the elephant exhibit. Jodi Gibson, president and CEO of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, explains the need for these changes when she looks at a childhood picture of herself outside of the current elephant exhibit. Gibson says the only real difference between today’s exhibit and the nearly 40-year-old photo is the paint on the railing. The new home for the elephants will include a large savannah-like yard, a watering hole large enough to submerge up to three elephants, an Elephant Care Center for year-round visits, a feeding wall for zookeepers to provide enrichment items for the elephants, and more.  Elephants are one of the most popular animals at the zoo.  The renovations have already begun and should be complete by early 2019.

Foundation Manager Rita Schwalbach says, “Having a world class zoo helps attract people and employees to Milwaukee, which is only one of the reasons why the Foundation is supporting the zoo.” 

Education is a key part of the Foundation’s philosophy and the Milwaukee County Zoo also serves as a conduit to the public to educate and inspire both the young and old to respect wildlife, animals and nature.

Gibson estimates that the improvements to the elephant, hippopotamus and rhinoceros exhibits will take a few years.  The Zoo and the Zoological Society will then embark on future campaigns for other areas of the zoo. Gibson singled out Alaska’s Cold Coast and Wild Woods as potential next steps after the work on Adventure Africa concludes.

To learn more about the upgrades to Adventure Africa, visit www.elephants.win2wild.com.

The A. O. Smith Foundation was founded in 1955 by Lloyd B. (Ted) Smith. Since its inception, it has contributed over $42 million in financial support worldwide. The Foundation has organizational partners in the communities in which the company has facilities in the areas of education, human services, arts and culture, and health, as well as encouraging employees to live out the A. O. Smith Values through community service.