Located near the historic Fort Des Moines south of Des Moines, Iowa, the 25-acre zoological park, Blank Park Zoo is Iowa’s only zoo accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Blank Park Zoo’s mission is to encourage an awareness of the natural world through conservation, education and recreation.
Interesting Facts About Blank Park Zoo
• In 1963, Mr. A.H. Blank contributed $150,000 for the development of a children’s zoo on Fort Des Moines decommissioned property. In 1966 the Des Moines Children’s Zoo was formally opened. The zoo which was originally designed around nursery rhymes also featured a castle with a moat, a model of Noah’s Ark, a petting zoo and a small-scale railroad.
• In 1981 a group of local leaders founded the Blank Park Zoo Foundation to help save the zoo from closure following the 16 year failure of the city of Iowa to make any improvements. The Foundations primary goal was to provide financial support for improvements, the purchase of animals and the promotion of activities. By forming a partnership with the City of Des Moines the Blank Park Zoo Foundation successfully raised a $1.8 million bond referendum, as well as $1.4 million from the community.
• Due to much needed renovations the zoo was closed at the end of 1982 and reopened on May 17, 1986 the zoo, featuring themed exhibits and naturally landscaped spacious environments. In 1987 Blank Park Zoo was accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
• In 1995 The Blank Park Zoo Foundation in 1995 purchased an additional 10.2 ha of historic Fort Des Moines property as well as 9 historic buildings in a planned expansion of the Zoo. The Foundation also embarked upon a campaign to construct a new great cats exhibit as well as a 30,000-square-foot indoor Discovery Center exhibit.
• On May 1, 1999 the Zoo opened its Tom and Jo Ghrist Great Cats exhibit followed by the Myron & Jackie Blank Discovery Center on September 1, 2001.
• In 2003 the Foundation and City of Des Moines signed a 28E agreement to transfer management and operations of the Zoo to the Foundation which resulted in the hiring of Terry Rich as the Zoo’s first Chief Executive Officer, hallmarking a new era in Zoo history. Spring Break and Holiday Safaris which were later introduced received much success.
• In 2011 the zoo opened its David Kruidenier Australian Themed Adventure which featured an endangered cassowary. The zoo additionally remodeled its Sea Lion pool and opened a special dinosaur exhibit in the Zoo Plex.
• Blank Park Zoo features a quarantine facility to help manage its wide variety of animal exhibits.
Blank Park Zoo Animal Webcams
Miscellaneous Animal Exhibits
In addition to its major exhibits, Blank Park Zoo features several individual exhibits which are home to a variety of animals including an Aldabra giant tortoise, bald eagles, black-tailed prairie dogs, common squirrel monkeys, Japanese macaques, and ring tailed lemurs. Click on the link below to view the Zoo’s Monkey Cam showing its resident Japanese macaques.
Blank Park Zoo Hub Harbor Pinniped Pavilion Webcam
In 2012 following the redesign of the old pool the Zoo opened its new Seal/Sea Lion pool featuring two high rise areas for viewing, as well as an underwater viewing area for visitors to view the the zoo’s California Sea Lions and Harbor Seals. Click on the link below provided by the KCCI Weather Cam to watch the Zoo’s resident Seals and Sea Lions.
Blank Park Zoo Aquarium of the Discovery Center Webcam
Blank Park Zoo Aquarium of the Discovery Center features a wide variety of aquatic ecosystems including a waterfall feature viewed above the Amazon River Pool. The Zoo’s Amazon River Pool exhibit is home to several species of tropical river fish including the red tail catfish, silver arowana and tambaqui.
The Zoo’s Coral Reef exhibit houses a number of aquatic species native to coral reefs including Achilles tang, butterfly fish, bannerfish, coral, clown triggerfish, and yellow tang. Blank Park Zoo’s Pacific Northwest Aquarium is home to species native to the cold waters off British Columbia, such as giant sea star, kelp greenling, purple sea star and white-spotted rose anemone.
Zoo Camera Tags:
- monkey live cam zoo