The massive structure will be 112 feet (34 meters) high, cover 172,000 square feet ( 16,000 square meters), and will simulate the natural African rain forest habitats of the Congo. It includes an undulating dome and a jungle canopy with an authentic climate.
The Biodome will be home to a band of gorillas, a large troop of chimpanzees, okapi (rare giraffe-like creatures), birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, and invertebrates. An interactive water ride will provide extensive views of the animal enclosures. Themed retail and dining facilities will also be incorporated.
The Heart of Africa project will occur over the next 15 years, but will be open to visitors in 2014.