Cheetahs, giant anteaters coming to Lincoln Children's Zoo in 2020

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The Lincoln Children's Zoo will be getting cheetahs and giant anteaters in 2020.

A Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) at the Denver Zoo. ©Joel Sartore/National Geographic Photo Ark

Zoo president John Chapo made the big announcement on 1011 This Morning.

Chapo said along with the cheetahs will be a Cheetah Chase, where zoo visitors can watch them run. The 200 ft long habitat gives people an up close look at the animal.

This isn't something you see everywhere. Chapo said the best example would be in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"This is going to be a phenomenal exhibit," he said.

But that isn't the only thing coming to the zoo. Giant Anteaters will make their way to Lincoln. He said they are exceptionally strange and unique creatures. They are 6 ft long with a tongue longer than a giraffe.

Other fun things being added to the zoo include an outdoor playground area overlooking the giraffes, a treetop experience, a year-round zoo cafe with indoor and outdoor seating and new food options. There will also be a green event space where the zoo can host more children's events, concerts and more.

These additions are possible by the generosity of the Lincoln community.

The zoo received $1.5 million anonymous gift to move the zoo past the original capital campaign goal of $18 million. This let them pursue more beyond the current expansion plan of giraffes, tigers and spider monkeys.

Right now, the zoo has $22 million in their capital campaign. Their new goal is set for $24 million.

They said once they achieve that they will become a larger tourism destination in the city as well as a stronger community asset for all.

“We are humbled by the exceptional love for the children’s zoo and we are excited for what this means to the children and families of our community,” Chapo said.