TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Nexstar Media Group, parent company of KSNT and FOX 43 KTMJ, announced Friday it will donate $10,000 to the “Giraffe and Friends Capital Campaign” at the Topeka Zoo.

“This is huge,” said Zoo Director Brendan Wiley.

The donation will help with the construction of a new $7.5 million giraffe facility and a barn for antelope and gazelles.

The Topeka Zoo said the current giraffe exhibit is the oldest and most outdated animal habitat within the zoo.

“For years, KSNT-TV and KTMJ-TV have been critical partners to the success this Zoo has had. KSNT-TV and KTMJ-TV are so much more than television stations. They are community partners to organizations like us that help connect people to our mission, our stories and our needs. We are incredibly grateful for the $10,000 donation from the Nexstar Media Charitable Foundation for our Giraffe and Friends Capital Campaign. This gift demonstrates the commitment of KSNT-TV, KTMJ-TV and Nexstar to invest in the communities they operate, work and live in. The Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center is proud to partner with KSNT on this project. To our community and the people that come here to visit, just wait. This project is going to be amazing!”

Brendan Wiley, Director of the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center

Robert Raff, Vice President and General Manager of KSNT-TV and KTMJ-TV, said this donation is part of Nexstar’s mission to give back to the communities we serve.

Giraffe and Friends will construct a 10,000 square-foot state of the art giraffe housing facility along with a 3,000 square-foot hoofstock barn where both buildings attach to a 3 acre mixed species exhibit.

The new giraffe facility will be built in the very southwest corner of the zoo.

The mixed species habitat will run north and wrap around Camp Cowabunga completing the Camp Cowabunga experience.

“The Topeka Zoo is a true gem in northeast Kansas and provides incredible experiences for visitors of all ages. KSNT, FOX 43 and Nexstar are proud to support projects that make our community a great place to live and play,” said Vice President and General Manager Robert Raff.

“The Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center is a real gem and serves close to a quarter-million visitors annually, a number greater than the population of Topeka itself. The Zoo’s giraffe conservation program has drawn national attention and we are extremely pleased to partner with the Zoo on this endeavor. Giving back to the communities served by Nexstar in 114 markets across the country is core to the company’s mission and we are proud to make this donation on behalf of KSNT-TV, KTMJ-TV, Nexstar Media Group, and all of Nexstar’s 13,000 employees.”

Robert Raff, Vice President and General Manager of KSNT-TV and KTMJ-TV

Wiley said Giraffe and Friends is expected to break ground in February or March of 2021 and open to the public in 2022.

You can find more information about the project here.