Gift from Delta boosts zoo’s fundraising

Tara, an African elephant at Zoo Atlanta, will have more room to roam after an upcoming expansion of the African savanna habitat at the zoo

Tara, an African elephant at Zoo Atlanta, will have more room to roam after an upcoming expansion of the African savanna habitat at the zoo.

Zoo Atlanta’s coming transformation received a boost last week when the Delta Air Lines Foundation announced a $1 million gift to the Grant Park landmark. The donation will help the zoo expand its entrance plaza and renovate the Cyclorama building. It will also broaden the African elephant habitat. It is the largest gift Delta has made to the zoo.

Last November the zoo received a $20 million matching gift from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation that will significantly underwrite these changes. The gift came after it was announced that the Cyclorama painting, The Battle of Atlanta, would be moved to the campus of The Atlanta History Center in Buckhead.

Since 1892, the panoramic painting has been exhibited in Grant Park, adjacent to the zoo, most of that time in a 1921-era building constructed specifically to hang the massive canvas.

The zoo will take over the Cyclorama building and the five acres on which it sits. The building itself will require extensive renovation to satisfy its new purpose. The other projects will, together with the changes to the building, cost in the neighborhood of $40 million.

But if the zoo can find $20 million in donations, the Woodruff grant will cover the rest. The Delta gift gets them closer to that goal.


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