COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – If you think the Columbus Zoo’s Heart of Africa is impressive from the visitors’ section, you should see it from the acreage inhabited by the animals.

“It’s really nice because it’s a lot of space for a lot of animals. But they pretty much spread themselves out,” said Shannon Borders, Heart of Africa curator.

On the savanna, you’ll find a variety of animals including wildebeests, gazelles, kudu, zebras, and giraffes.

“I’ve worked at the zoo for 20 years and I’ve worked with all different species,” said Borders. “But when I came up here, it was just wild because to offer a space like this in central Ohio is like no other.”

Sharing that space and experience is something that Borders is passionate about.

“Every day we show up and we show up for these animals, but these animals are speaking for their relatives in the wild,” said Borders. “People say, ‘oh well what can I do? I live here in central Ohio. I can’t do anything.’ You can – even just by visiting the zoo quite frankly,” said Borders.

To learn more about the Heart of Africa and booking your own savanna tour, visit