Can a zoo boost the economy?

The nation’s third-oldest zoo has grand expansion plans. Can it raise the $60 million needed to get there?

FEEDING TIME: Jennifer Warmbold, lead keeper of Africa at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, prepares to feed lettuce to some of the zoo’s Masai giraffes. The zoo is in phase one of a three-phase, 20-year master plan to renovate and expand the Providence attraction.  
 / PBN PHOTO/
MICHAEL SALERNO
FEEDING TIME: Jennifer Warmbold, lead keeper of Africa at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, prepares to feed lettuce to some of the zoo’s Masai giraffes. The zoo is in phase one of a three-phase, 20-year master plan to renovate and expand the Providence attraction. 
 / PBN PHOTO/
MICHAEL SALERNO
Adults and kids stare, almost unblinking, at the sleek bodies of giant river otters gliding dreamily in figure eights through their tank. The human faces are washed of tension or distraction, smiling and wide-eyed, uniformly riveted by what looks like pure animal delight. The otters are part of the newest exhibit at Providence’s venerable Roger…

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