Located in White River State Park, in Indianapolis, Indiana the Indianapolis Zoo is the only institution accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as an aquarium, a botanical garden and a zoo.
Recognized as a private non-profit organization, the Indianapolis Zoo is solely supported by its admissions, donations, grants, membership fees, as well as an annual fundraising event.
Interesting Facts About Indianapolis Zoo
• First opened to the public in 1964 the idea for the Indianapolis Zoo was first conceived by a newspaper columnist by the name of Lowell B. Nussbaum in 1944.
• Although the Indianapolis Zoo opened at its original location on East 30th Street, it was not until two decades later that the zoo had its official opening following the founding of the Indianapolis Zoological Society Inc.
• The zoo’s first exhibits featured an Asian elephant, bison, buffalo, camels, deer, foxes, raccoons, prairie dogs and tortoises exhibits.
• In 1965, the Indianapolis Zoo was recognized as one of the few zoological gardens to employ a full-time education staff.
• By its 20th anniversary the Indianapolis Zoo had doubled its animal collection and recognized the need for a new location for further expansion.
• In 1982 it was proposed that the Indianapolis Zoo should not only serve as a place housing animal exhibits but also as an institution dedicated to conservation and education. That year, it was decided that White River Gardens would be the new site of the zoo. In 1985 a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the new downtown location later closing the old zoo in 1987.
• In 1988 the zoo’s current home in White River State Park was opened with a size of 26 ha.
• Following the construction of the Dolphin Pavilion and the Waters building the Indianapolis Zoo was accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as both a zoo and aquarium.
• In 1996 the zoo became the first to earn triple accreditation as an aquarium, botanical garden and zoological park.
• Part of the Zoo’s now exhibit, between 1999 to 2006 White River Gardens functioned as a separate attraction.
• The Indianapolis Zoo hosts over one million visitors annually and plays an active role in global conservation and research as well as famous for accomplishing the first successful artificial insemination of an African elephant.
• The Indianapolis Zoo is structured around areas noted for similar climate, animals and plants. Animals housed at the zoo are grouped in similar habitats which define these areas known as biomes.
• In 2012, the zoo broke ground on its International Orangutan Exhibit which was partially funded by the Dean and Barbara family foundation. The exhibit which was awarded the 2014 Indiana Innovation Award and houses eight orangutans also features a viewing atrium and cable ride for a one of a kind view to visitors.
• In 2006, a truck headed to Moody Gardens in Galveston, Texas transporting a shipment of penguins, several exotic fish and an octopus overturned. The accident resulted in the death of several fish, and three gentoo penguins.
• In 2007 fire broke out in the Encounters area killing many of the zoo’s small animals including, two birds, three turtles, a snake, and several other animals. It was found that the cause of the fire was due to the armadillo moving hay bedding too close to a light used for heat.
• In 2009 a maintenance error resulted in the death of 15 bonnethead sharks.
Indianapolis Zoo Webcams
Cheetah and Elephant Cam
Take a step inside the Plains exhibits that is home to the zoo’s cheetahs and elephants. The cheetah exhibit which was created for visitors to have a view of these magnificent animals is just a few clicks from the neighboring elephant exhibit featuring the zoo’s eight African elephants.
View The Cheetah and Elephant Web Cam.
Take a close look at the zoo’s gentoos, king penguins and rockhoppers housed inside the Oceans building! The rockhoppers noted for their yellow feathers jutting out from their heads are the smallest species. The gentoos known for a plain white stripe across the top of their heads are middle-sized birds. King penguins are the second largest of the penguin species and feature a distinctive yellow patch on the side of their head.
View The Indianapolis Zoo Penguin Web Cam.
Take an exotic trip to the Asian continent without having to leave the comfort of your chair. Native to Russia, China and parts of North Korea, the Amur tigers are the largest of the extant tiger species. Click on the webcam link below and view the zoo’s three Amur tigers inside a the Tiger Forest exhibit.
Indianapolis Zoo is fortunate to house two of the 19 walrus living among seven zoos and aquariums in the United States. Take a step inside the Walrus Exhibit and view Aurora the zoo’s is veteran adult female walrus as well as Pakak a male Pacific walrus calf.
View Walrus cam.
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