A £58m plan to develop the zoo in the Scottish capital has been unveiled.
Chimpanzees at Edinburgh Zoo are due to get a new enclosure
Edinburgh Zoo is starting the improvements by building a new £5.5m state-of-the-art chimpanzee enclosure.
The 20-year-redevelopment includes a new polar bear unit, which activists say reneges on a promise by the zoo not to replace Britain's last polar bear.
The zoo will be organised into four zones themed on different habitats - grasslands, woodlands, tropical rainforests and oceans/wetlands.
All will be linked by a circular roadway and each area will feature a central "node" with a shop, cafeteria and children's play area, all themed to the particular zone.
The main entrance to the zoo is to be relocated to the top of the current car park, where a major new plaza is planned.
The Mansion House, a listed building at the heart of the site, and its famous penguin pool are expected to remain as they are now.
Giant manatees - sea cows - will also be brought to a massive new enclosure planned for them near the penguins.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs the attraction, hopes the investment will help turn it into a world-class attraction and increase visitor numbers.
RZSS chief executive David Windmill said the zoo - which is home to more than 1,000 animals - already attracts 600,000 people a year.
He said: "The master plan will set out the framework for transforming Edinburgh Zoo into a world-class visitor attraction over the next 20 years of which the city of Edinburgh and its people can be proud.
"We want to give our visitors the experience of a 'good day out' and at the same time inspire them to care about and become involved in the conservation of our threatened habitats."
Stephen Gallagher, director of Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian which has donated £1.8m towards the new chimpanzee enclosure, said he believed the project would help attract even more visitors.
He said: "We are delighted to be supporting the new chimpanzee enclosure, which will help kick-start a new master plan that is expected to transform the zoo into a world-class visitor attraction, creating an additional 320 jobs and generating £40m for the local economy over the next 20 years."
A row erupted last year when it emerged Edinburgh Zoo planned to build a new polar bear enclosure.
Although zoo chiefs had previously insisted the present polar bear would not be replaced, a zoo spokesman said the plight of the bears in the wild had worsened and it was possible the international zoo community might need to continue keeping polar bears in captivity.