Fort Worth Announces Plans to Sell Zoo Land

Zoo

In a bold, some may say brutal example of “highest and best use,” the  City of Fort Worth has announced plans to sell the Fort Worth Zoo. Founded in 1909 with one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock, and a few rabbits the 110-year-old zoo is now home to some 7,000 animals. The 64-acre parcel will be subdivided into 172 lots for residential development.

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Jocelyne Carp

“It was a difficult decision,” a city official was quoted as saying “But the land is just too valuable to keep as parkland. The offering is expected to raise hundreds of millions of dollars which will add substantial capital to employee pension funds.”

The reaction was strong and swift. The prominent and powerful Perch family, longtime major zoo supporters, expressed their dismay through spokesperson Jocelyne Carp.

“We were just flabbergasted. It’s a sad day for the city,” said Carp. “Apart from protesting in the strongest possible terms, there is, apparently, little we can do from a legal standpoint,” she added.

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Jerry Swindler

The complicated mechanics of the mega-deal are being spearheaded by the outside legal team of Swindler, Mountebank & Conners.

“We’re so excited and proud to be a part of this project,” says lead attorney Jerry Swindler. “Already, interest is over-the-top explosive. The area abuts pricey Park Hill and should sell briskly. If all goes well, we hope to continue to work with the city on other projects and bond offerings,” he added.

The development will offer mixed-use living with the complex of administrative buildings being repurposed and converted into loft condominiums. Billionaire philanthropist Alice Bolton made an offer, rumored to be north of $100 million, for the 30,000-square-foot herpetarium known by the acronym MOLA. The offer was ultimately nixed by Animal Control who raised safety concerns over venomous reptiles housed in a residential setting.

“It’s a pity,” lamented Bolton. “I hope they preserve the structure. It would have made a wonderful home and the exhibits would have been fantastic backdrops for fundraisers.”

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MOLA

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Loft Conversion Model

Plans to move the zoological park to a venue near Texas Motor Speedway ultimately floundered when animal advocacy groups including People for the Esoteric Treatment of Animals, objected to deafening and potentially stressful noise levels. Eventually, the city decided to sell lock, stock, and barrel. Most of the exhibits will make their way to other zoos across the country. A notorious pair of tapirs, affectionately known as Jeffrey and Roger, have already been purchased by the San Diego Zoo, which was pleased with the opportunity to welcome LGBT animals to their zoo family.

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Jeffrey and Roger

“The Fort Worth Zoo is rightly judged one of the best zoos in the country. It’s had a long run, but all good things must come to an end. Zoo lovers can still satisfy their cravings for human on animal contact at several area petting zoos,” opined city spokesman David Crikey. “And Fort Worth has the cultural district for a draw. The museums, which sit on choice Westside land, unfortunately for us, remain in private hands.”

And what’s to become of Iggy, the 40-foot Zoo mascot? Speculation is that the iconic iguana may land on a new perch atop popular Northside eatery, Joe T. Garcia’s.

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Iggy

Those who want to get their hands on architectural salvage from the Zoo should contact the demolition company with requests here.

29 Comment

  • You guys had me going for a good 20 minutes . . . until I noticed today’s date :). Very nicely done.

    • Shocking! I kept reading in horror and kept thinking this can’t be real…surely its’s an April Fools joke. Thank heavens…in today’s world you know anything is possible and this could possibly happen when priorities shift. Happy April Fool!

  • I was good until I saw their lawyers’ names. I thought, why wouldn’t a lawyer named Swindler change his name. Then i saw Michael Avenatti’s picture, and I knew that some mountebank had conned me.

  • Dang it, the only April Fools joke I’ve fallen for today. I realized as soon as I didn’t see anything about it on the Dallas Morning News website, and then remembered the date.

  • Wrong.. The Giant Iguana is going to replace General Lee in Oak Lawn Park, it’s all been leveled out for it and ready.

  • Oh my lanta! Vapors and palpitations! I’ve been taken for a ride but have never been so happy to learn I’ve been taken for a ride!

  • Sickening. I hoped this was an April Fools’ Joke.

  • You can do better. How bout Candy arrested for red lining or block busting or racial discrimination. Now that’s funny

  • I seriously about had a heart attack! I was looking all over for more news, did not find any…then thought, surely this is not an April Fools joke. Very bold of you!! You got me.

  • You got me…In my defense, I’ve been traveling & totally forgot it was April Fool’s Day! Glad it was a joke. I love The Ft.Worth Zoo.

  • That is ashamed that Fort Worth is turning in to Dallas Nothing is historical anymore We need a leader to stand up for our city ❗️

    • Even Dallas wouldn’t sell its zoo land. Thankfully, upon careful examination, you will likely find that there is a clue as to whether this story was an April Fools joke or reality.

  • This is a very sad day for the people of Ft. Worth, men, women and thousands of children in the name of a money making venture which benefits only those who can afford the proposed building of houses, condominiums and luxury apartments. Granted that the animals are still crowded and the reason for that is there.is no more room for the expansion. Eventually all we will have is memories of the joy a trip to the zoo

    • Luckily, it was an April Fool’s joke. I, too, fell for it. When I saw the attorney’s picture thought he looked familiar, now I know who he is! Anyway, so glad it was all a joke *wipes for head and sighs of relief 🙂

  • Ha,ha,ha! You got me. But in all truthfulness, I’m for having the Herpoaterium in the square middle of a wealthy neighborhood. Think of the Halloween fun breaking to the building and depositing all those reptiles in mailboxes, swimming pools and plumbing. Wouldn’t that be a bite in the ass! APRIL FOOLS!!!!!

  • JUST PLAIN STUPID!
    NOT ANY BUSINESS PERSON THINKS OF ALL THE CHILDREN THAT LIVE IN FT. WORTH WHO WILL NEVER GET THE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE, FEEL & HEAR INCREDIBLE ANIMALS IN THEIR CITY!
    ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS THE MIGHTY $$$$
    I AM SURE THE LAND ON THE ZOO IN THE MIDDLE OF NEW YORK CITY WOULD GIVE AN INCREDIBLE $$$
    FORT WORTH IS JUST IGNORANT FOR THE FUTURE GENERATIONS!

    • Luckily, the announcement was made on April 1st, immediately throwing the concept into the status of you know, a trick. A joke. An April Fools Day prank.

  • Oh my gosh…my blood pressure went up 900% and I was trying to figure who to call and start ranting on…..Good one! OK …now I need “happy hour” big time!

    • Me too, LA leis. I was furious! Couldn’t imagine moving the zoo to Alliance. Too much noise. Wouldn’t surprise me if it did happen…Fort Worth City Council is greedy.

  • Actually, I was looking forward to a nice condo off University Drive. Perfect.

  • Since this posted to people’s accounts on the 2cnd…
    It lost a lot of its comedic value.