We Energies Foundation gives $750,000 to Zoo’s Adventure Africa exhibit

Will fund terrace overlooking new elephant exhibit

A rendering of the new elephant watering hole.

Last updated on May 14th, 2019 at 05:23 am

The We Energies Foundation is giving $750,000 to support the new Adventure Africa complex at the Milwaukee County Zoo.

A rendering of the new elephant watering hole.

The Adventure Africa project, which will occupy about 25 percent of the zoo’s existing footprint, will create new homes for the zoo’s elephants, African hoofstock, hippos and rhinos.

The We Energies Foundation gift will fund a second-floor terrace, called the We Energies Foundation Elephant Overlook, where visitors will be able to view the new elephant exhibit and multi-species hoofstock exhibits. It will also support the We Energies Foundation African Forest Garden, which will be located between the two exhibit areas.

“The We Energies Foundation focuses on creating a brighter future for the communities we serve, and the zoo is a wonderful example of an organization that makes a positive community impact,” said Beth Straka, vice president of the We Energies Foundation and senior vice president of corporate communications and investor relations at WEC Energy Group.

The Zoological Society has raised $17.3 million of the $25 million capital campaign to fund the first phase, called Adventure Africa, of planned improvements to the zoo over the next 25 years.

“We Energies has been and continues to be a great partner of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee,” said Jodi Gibson, president and CEO of the Zoological Society. “Their support and commitment will help keep the zoo a top destination for generations to come.”

The elephant exhibit is expected to open to the public in spring 2019.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.