animalsRezoning for a huge animal sanctuary planned in a remote area of northwest Arizona was approved during Monday’s Mohave County Board of supervisors meeting. The Wild Planet animal park would stretch over some 2,000 acres about 35 miles southwest of Hoover Dam.

The $40-million venture that will take three to four years to develop is proposed by Las Vegas area residents Dwight Jory and Bruce Perlowin and partner Jonathan Kraft, who already operates the smaller Keeper’s of the Wild animal refuge at a 175-acre property in the northern Arizona community of Valentine. Kraft said hundreds of animals will be in need of sanctuary as many nations throughout the world abolish circuses and other stage shows.

A solar-powered train will transport people to different portions of the park where they will walk above and view the animal menagerie that will include lions, tigers and elephants. Kraft said annual payroll for more than 150 employees is projected at $4.5-million.

“I kind of view this as economic development for the area of Dolans Springs and the surrounding community. They’re hungry for jobs out there,” Supervisor Jean Bishop told Kraft. “I want to thank you and your partners and your investors for taking a chance on Mohave County and bringing this to our area. I’m very excited about it.”

Kraft said approval of the rezoning will lead to site preparation and engagement of engineering, architectural and hydrologic professionals. He said water use is not projected but that conservation and recycling will be implemented wherever possible.