Sedgwick County Zoo

File photo

The Sedgwick County Zoo is partnering with zoos in Dallas and Omaha in an effort to save 18 elephants from death in Africa.

If the plan works, six of the elephants will be relocated to the Sedgwick County Zoo by the end of the year.

The three zoos want to provide new homes for 18 African elephants from two government parks in Swaziland. The country is in a severe drought and faces an overpopulation of elephants. The animals are also taking a toll on landscape needed for endangered rhinos.

Sedgwick County has released its proposed budget for 2016, and it includes drastic cuts to many county services.


Numerous county agencies and county-supported organizations were aware that funding cuts were coming, but didn’t know how severe they’d be.

Deborah Shaar file photo

The Sedgwick County Zoo is marking a major milestone in the process of building its new elephant exhibit.

The zoo completed its $10.6 million fundraising campaign this week. KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports...

Deborah Shaar

Westar Energy is testing solar energy technology across the state through partnerships with schools, nonprofits and government agencies.

The company is fully funding 15 innovative solar projects out of about 100 proposals submitted.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar has a progress report on the three projects selected in Wichita.

Visitors to the Amphibian and Reptile Building at the Sedgwick County Zoo are searching for turtles, snakes and lizards in the glass aquariums built into the walls.

Some are small spaces, some large. Some have water and others just greenery.

Travel KS / Flickr

The Sedgwick County Commissioners are set to vote Wednesday on a resolution that would delay a decision on the future of a funding agreement with the Sedgwick County Zoo.

KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports.

The commissioners and zoo officials met several times in the last month about possible changes to the present five-year funding agreement.

Under the current terms, funding will run until 2018. The county itself was required to notify the zoo that it was considering terminating the current agreement to replace it with a year-to-year plan.

Sedgwick County Zoo


Sedgwick County has lost a beloved resident. It’s not a longtime public official or philanthropist, but a 43-year-old elephant named Cinda. 

The Sedgwick County Zoo announced the death of the elephant on Wednesday. It's one the facility's original animals.

Sedgwick County Zoo Executive Director Mark Reed says it was most likely due to a heart attack and it didn't come as a complete surprise. Nevertheless…

“It’s been a rough day,” Reed says with tears in his eyes.

Deborah Shaar

Construction is underway on the new elephant exhibit at the Sedgwick County Zoo. Having a herd of more than two elephants is now required or zoos risk losing accreditation. As KMUW’s Deborah Shaar reports, zoo leaders say this new exhibit will not only be good for the elephants, it will also be good for the local economy.

Backhoes, dozers and dump trucks are working on a five acre area on the south side of the zoo. This unused land will be transformed into a $10.6 million “elephant management complex.”

The Sedgwick County Zoo will lose its accreditation to have elephants if its officials can't find a way to upgrade the animals' enclosure.

Yesterday, the Sedgwick County Zoological Society asked county commissioners to pay $5.3 million dollars of the cost of a new elephant barn, which is estimated to cost $10.5 million-dollars. Zoo officials say the commissioners have three weeks to consider the funding before they move to relocate the animals.

The zoo has housed two African elephants, named Stephanie and Cinda, since 1972.

County Approves $30M For Sedgwick County Zoo

Sep 12, 2013

The Sedgwick County Commission voted Wednesday to spend $30 million at the Sedgwick County Zoo during the next five years, with nearly all the money going to staff and maintenance costs.

The financial support will allow the zoological society to begin raising $10 million to-$12 million for an expanded elephant exhibit.

The zoo has two elephants and needs at least one more to meet new requirements for accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.