The Indianapolis Zoo is located within the White River State Park in Indianapolis, Indiana. This zoo has a variety of exhibits that explore a variety of animals and ecosystems, such as those in oceans and forests.



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The Indianapolis Zoo was founded on April 18, 1964 by the Indianapolis Zoological Society. It was originally located on East 30th Street in Indianapolis, Indiana, but moved to its current location in 1987. A distinctive historical fact about the Indianapolis Zoo is it was the first zoo to be officially labeled as a zoo, botanical garden, and aquarium by the American Association of Museums and Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Today, the Indianapolis Zoo strives to provide the overall Indianapolis community with an animal conservation that is advanced in the local and global sense. The Indianapolis Zoo’s current president and CEO, Mike Crowther created a conservation plan that included the zoo’s commitment to providing sustainability for animals, ecosystems, and the overall environment.



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The Indianapolis Zoo has five distinctive areas that provide visitors with the unique experience of exploring and interacting with over 230 different animal species and 2,000 types of plants.

Oceans explores the diversity of the world’s oceans. The first thing that visitors see when they enter the Oceans building is the OneAmerica Foundation Entry Gallery. This gallery has a breathtakingly gorgeous reflecting pool that glistens in even the smallest amount of light. The other exhibit is the Efroymson Gallery, which shows a variety of animals and plants within oceans. The first section of this exhibit is a large tank that showcases large fish, such as woobegong sharks. Another highlight of this exhibit is the large coral reef, which is home to a family of green moray eels.

Deserts is located within a dome. This attraction has a combination of animals that one would find in a typical desert. The types of animals in the Deserts attraction range from mammals to reptiles. One of the specific highlighted animals in the Desert Dome is meerkats, which are often regarded as small animals that have a hint of sass.

Forests showcases the temperate and tropical ecosystems of various forests throughout the world. A dense tree canopy allows the perfect amount of filtered sunlight to shine down upon the plants and animals within the Forests exhibit. Some of the highlighted animals include red pandas, Asian small-clawed otters, and Amur tigers.

Plains features some of the most diverse amount of animals that one could find within popular plains, such as those in Africa. A combination of fierce animals, such as cheetahs, rhinos, and elephants coexist with calmer animals, such as giraffes and zebras within the Plains attraction.

White River Gardens is the last distinct attraction of the Indianapolis Zoo. The White River Gardens comprises approximately 3 acres of land. Various flora and fauna are spread across the White Rive Gardens. Various informational posts are spread out among this attraction. These posts include information such as, which types of plants are the best for home gardening, and general information about some of the attractions most popular plants.

Education is extremely important to the Indianapolis Zoo. As part of its global educational and conservation efforts, the Indianapolis Zoo takes part in globally recognized educational programs, such as the Hix Institute for Research and Conservation. The Hix Institute for Research and Conservation provides the general public with an extensive amount of educational programs and opportunities that teach fundamentals of conservation through fun and interactive programs.

Aside from the Indianapolis Zoo’s participation in renowned global educational efforts, the zoo has many on-site educational opportunities. In order to ensure that everyone has the chance to receive adequate and relevant information, the Indianapolis Zoo divides its programs among family and youth experiences and adult programs.

Two of the Indianapolis Zoo’s most popular family and youth educational programs are the Animal Art Adventure and the Dolphin In-Water Adventure. The Animal Art Adventure gives families and youth the opportunity to explore a certain animal behind the scenes. During this program, participants have the chance to interact with animals in a similar way that zoo employees do. To top off the experience, the animal paints a picture for the participants, which they get to take home. Participants get to choose to interact with one of the following animals; elephant, penguin, pinniped, reptile, dolphin, or rhino.

As for Dolphin In-Water Adventure, participants have the opportunity to swim with dolphins in the Indianapolis Zoo’s specialized dolphin pod and learn an array of information about these majestic animals.

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1200 W Washington St, Indianapolis, IN 46222, Phone: 317-630-2001

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