Asheboro, NC — North Carolina zoo leaders are setting up a plan that guarantees a strong future for the animals and visitors. After a little more than 40 years, officials are looking forward to the next 20 years. 

The North Carolina Zoo is already one of the country's largest natural habitat zoo and a proposed 20 year plan looks to expand it.

"We need to continue our excellent animal welfare. We need to help the world understand we are a one of a kind place. We need to bring people in from all over the east coast, so a 500 mile radius. What we have to do is make it an experience,” said Pat Simmons, NC Zoo deputy director.