3 Now to a POSITIVELY JAX story ... It's become a River City icon over the years - and today, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens will celebrate a big milestone. It's kicking off its centennial anniversary. Channel 4's Erica Rakow joins us LIVE - with a closer look at how far the zoo has come. 3 3 SO THE ACTUAL 100TH ANNIVERSARY ISN'T UNTIL THIS COMING MAY .. BUT ZOO STAFF SAYS IT WANTED TO KICK OFF THE NEW YEAR BY KICKING OFF A CAMPAING OF CENTENNIAL CELEBRATIONS.. AND IT ALL BEGINS TODAY. 3 :00-:05:17-:25ON MAY 12, 1914.. THE JACKSONVILLE ZOO WAS BORN.. IT OPENED IN SPRINGFIELD WITH THE DONATION OF ONE RED DEER FAWN. ELEVEN YEARS LATER.. THE MUNICIPAL ZOO, AS IT WAS KNOWN THEN, RELOCATED TO WHERE IT IS NOW.. BORDERING ON THE TROUT RIVER. LAUREN BAKER/100 YEAR ANNIVERSARY COORDINATOR 1:58:30 it's huge you know, this is just such an important mark for the zoo and you know our 90th was important, our 10 year was important you know we went through several changes back in 1914 when the zoo started until when it moved to the current location it's in today and so it's just wonderful we've come so far AND A LONG WAS IT HAS COME.. IT STARTED WITH 37 ACRES AND HAS SINCE GROWN TO 110 ACRES. 1:58:50 today we have over 1,000 plants which makes us the largest botanical garden in northeast florida and we've got over 2,000 animals you know and we represent quite a number of different species so it's just wonderful that we're going to be able to kick off our 100 year anniversary celebration in this way TO MARK THIS MILESTONE .. THE ZOO IS KICKING OFF A 4-MONTH CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION CAMPAIGN LATER THIS MORNING.. MAYOR ALVIN BROWN WILL BE THE KEYNOTE SPEAKER OF THE EVENT. THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF SEVERAL EXCITING PROJECTS OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS WILL FOLLOW .. 1:59:17 we are going to be opening our land of the tiger exhibit which will be a huge event in march of 2014 12-13 6A VO TIGERS THESE TWO TIGERS WILL LIVE IN THE ZOO'S HIGHLY ANTICIPATED 2 AND A HALF ACRE "LAND OF THE TIGER" ATTRACTION. THE LAST TIME THE ZOO HAD TIGERS WAS ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO. 3 LAND OF THE TIGER IS PART OF THE ZOO'S 12-MILLION DOLLAR 100-YEAR ANNIVERSARY CAMPAIGN. IN PREPARATION OF THIS CELEBRATION, THEY'RE INVITING YOU TO SHARE YOUR OWN MEMORIES AT THE ZOO.. E-MAIL YOUR REMEMBRANCES AND PICTURES TO ONLINE@JACKSONVILLEZOO .ORG.