February 7, 2019

Denver Zoo Breaks Ground on New Animal Hospital

Scheduled for Completion in 2020, the New Facility Will Advance Our Ability to Care for The More Than 3,500 Animals that call the zoo home

This morning, with the help of Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock, we broke ground on a new, state-of-the-industry animal hospital. Once complete in 2020, the Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital will advance the our ability to provide exceptional care for our more than 3,500 animals, and offer visitors an unprecedented look at the amazing work our veterinary team does every day.

“This hospital will be a testament to the qualities that have defined Denver Zoo for 123 years—innovation, collaboration and—most importantly—dedication to providing the best possible care for our animals here at the Zoo,” said Denver Zoo President/CEO Bert Vescolani. “We have made every effort to keep up with the pace of veterinary medical technology in our current facility, but now we need enhanced spaces, combined with state-of-the-industry tools, to ensure our animals’ wellbeing for another 50 years.”

At 22,000 square feet, the hospital will house a world-class diagnostic laboratory, indoor and outdoor holding and quarantine spaces and state-of-the art treatment rooms and surgery suites. And it will be equipped with the latest technology, including one of the only animal hospital CT scanners in the country. Its design includes considerations for noise, views and daylight to ensure animal comfort, and will be built to LEED Gold standards.

What's most exciting about the new hospital, however, is what guests will experience. There will be outdoor areas for guests to eat and relax, as well as space for impromptu animal demonstrations. Inside, there will be an elevated lobby that provides unobstructed views into the treatment rooms, surgery suite and laboratory. It will be far more than a peek behind the scenes—it will be a fully interactive and immersive look at how we care for our animals.

Designed by Stantec and to be built by Haselden Construction, the hospital was largely funded by the Elevate Denver Bond Program, which Denver voters passed in 2017.

"The community continues to support the Zoo and all that it endeavors today, and we're here because the people of Denver said yes to the largest general obligation bond issuance to date when they approved the Elevate Denver Bond," said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock. "The residents spoke loud and clear and said yes, and also said culture matters to us here in Denver. The Zoo matters to Denver."




Be among the first to hear the latest animal updates, important stories and details about all the fun happening around Denver Zoo.


  • June 3, 2024

    The Leuser Wins

    The Leuser Wins Denver Zoo and Forum Konservasi Leuser Join Forcesto Save Indonesia's Most Endangered Species When developing and…

  • June 3, 2024

    Indicators of Success

    Indicators of Success How Denver Zoo Uses Indicator Species to Inform Global Conservation Strategy The American pika, a tiny…

  • May 22, 2024

    Come Say G’Day | Down Under Now Open

    COME SAY G'DAY Explore Down Under with Marvelous Marsupials and Other Species Native to Australia and Surrounding Regions Down…