Description: "You have a great opportunity to take over a small zoo, but you need to prove that you understand that animals have individual biome needs."
Map Size: Medium
Start Cash: $100,000
Bonus: Marine Trainer
This first real stage shouldn't prove difficult unless you're grappling with the controls. If you're new to the game, I recommend checking out my general tips section (ahead of this campaign walkthrough section) to get some useful pointers on navigating the game and general strategies. Otherwise, start reading below.
1. Create exhibits for three different kinds of animals.
Start by creating four cages (even though the objective is only for three, it's easier to set up four because of the second objective that's coming in a few moments), 4x4 in size. Just use the cheapest materials. Place zookeepers in each one, then a male and a female of the animal type you choose. The easiest thing to do is to use the moose, camel, flamingo and zebra breeds. When they're all placed, that's the first objective completed.
2. Create four exhibits with a popularity of three stars or more.
With your animals and zookeepers placed, most of the work for this objective is done. Just head back through and set up the biomes to match the nature of the animals. The easiest way to do this is to click on one of the animals, then click the '?' and you'll see the animal's favorites listed. From there, you can tap on the desired elements to bring up a bar with that item highlighted. Click on the item from that bar to select it, then start placing it throughout the cage. Do this for each cage and its inhabitants, making sure that you've set down the right soil in particular. Most animals want a lot of soil, then two or three special objects like rocks, trees or water. When you're done--or maybe even before--you should have your four exhibits with good pouplarity. Easy objective!
3. Invest in research and create an exhibit for a lion.
Now you'll have to slow down a bit. Make sure that you've truly optimized each of the four exhibits, which will go a long way toward earning you a three-star rating that you'll need in order to research for the lion. Create a fifth and a sixth cage at this point, both 4x4 as normal. Also, lay nice brickwork along the paths and set up an ATM, snack food stand and some restrooms to keep zoo visitors happy. That also has the positive effect of boosting your zoo ranking. Put some antelope in one of the newly-created cages and optimize their biomes so that you can go up a zoo rank more easily. When you hit three stars, research animals and then place two lions (one male, one female) in the newly-created cage, along with a zookeeper.
4. Raise two lions that have a happiness level of at least 70%.
Since you have a zookeeper in the cage with them, the lions should feel happy very quickly. Optimize their biomes if you like, and you can also go into the zoo manager mode by clicking on the lions. There, playing the mini-game indicated by the hand (it lets you tap numbers along the animals to pet them and make them feel moer social) will boost both lions and help you finish the objective early. Your first real stage is done!
NEXT: Zookeeper in Training: Start-up Zoo