Confronted by new rules set by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, some zoos decided to give up their elephants. To the benefit of Wichita’s quality of life, and to the credit of area donors, the Sedgwick County Zoo now plans to acquire even more than the four it was talking about last fall and to take a leading role in conservation.

“Under the visionary leadership of director Mark Reed, the zoo has never stopped striving to improve itself and its visitor experience, inspiring enthusiastic community support. The bold new role in African elephant conservation should help ensure Wichita’s zoo remains the top outdoor family tourist attraction in Kansas and among the best zoos in the nation.”