A lush green grass field in the new Fresno Zoo warthog exhibit, next to a large simulated rockwork wall and trees.

Fresno Chaffee Zoo – Warthog Exhibit

African Adventure, Fresno Chaffee Zoo’s signature African exhibit area, now includes a new addition with the warthog habitat opening. The exhibit was implemented in formerly unused zoo property across from the lions. The new ¼ acre warthog yard provides an expansive space, but also boasts several interesting animal enrichment items.

COST’s Work on Fresno Zoo’s Warthog Habitat

COST’s preconstruction group worked alongside zoo staff and the project team to create this realistic exhibit with animal well-being driving the process. Tall mud bank and Kopje rock walls were constructed for animal containment but these walls also allowed for shade opportunities and heat lamp additions. These warming devices were strategically located within the wall undersides, shielded from patron view. The mud bank walls contain natural cobble embeds and faux roots for realism. A warthog burrow provides shade during the hot central California summer months. The burrow was formed between Kopje rock outcrops. A shotcrete pond creates a realistic mud wallow adjacent to the patron view glass. Waterers, providing fresh water within the exhibit, were theme painted to blend with the naturalistic exhibit space. The lush grasses, trees, and natural boulders round out the landscape.

COST was contracted to provide shop drawings and engineering for the rock work and earth bank walls. A scale model was built and reviewed by the zoo team prior to construction. The model ensured the exhibit space was animal friendly and delivered the required artistic intent. Once shop drawings and models were approved, COST crews mobilized to the site and constructed the simulated rock and earthen textured walls, pond, embed faux roots, and theme-painted waterers.

Photo courtesy of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.

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