St. Louis Zoo officials say the popular zoo could someday include a hotel, an indoor attraction such as an aquarium and many new animal exhibits.

Zoo officials are scheduled to unveil preliminary plans Thursday for expansion into a former hospital site the zoo bought last October. The plans are simply a framework of possibilities and no funding or specific details are final.

Other possibilities included in the plan a nine-acre savanna in the current south parking lot and increased parking.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the additions would be built in stages over 20 to 30 years and cost hundreds of millions of dollars.

Officials said they would pursue federal grants, state tax credits, private donations and possibly even a local property tax increase to pay for the growth.

Morne de Klerk, Getty Images