2016 At a Glance*
Recreation
  • Opened to the public in May 1978
  • A world-class recreation destination home to more than 5,300 animals—many endangered—in award-winning exhibits
  • 485-acre campus featuring miles of outdoor trails and the largest indoor interconnected zoo exhibits in the country
  • 1.29 million guests annually, with approximately 420,000 from greater Minnesota
  • $25 million operating budget, with almost 70 percent from earned and contributed income
  • More than 175,700 individual Zoo members
  • Over 1,100 volunteers contributing more than 112,000 hours annually, a $2.8 million gift to the Zoo
Conservation
  • Coordinator of international conservation and breeding programs for numerous species, including tigers and Asian wild horses
  • Field research on Minnesota’s iconic moose and endangered butterflies conducted in partnership with the University of Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources and others
  • Supporter of international conservation efforts to protect the black rhino in Africa, wild dogs in Thailand, and other threatened species.
  • Environmentally sustainable practices incorporated throughout the Zoo from large-scale recycling and composting initiatives to buildings designed to today’s “green” standards
  • Zoo guests connected to important conservation issues through World Speaker’s Series, and ongoing interpretive programs throughout the Zoo
Education
  • The State’s largest environmental educator with 444,000 participants last year, including almost 90,000 school program participants
  • More than 11,000 school students visited the Zoo for free thanks to the Zoo Safari program
  • More than 5,300 children attended Zoo Camp
  • Zoomobile traveled to 46 Minnesota counties, presenting live animal programs to more than 57,000 people
  • Approximately 111,000 Zoo guests shared “close encounters” with Zoo animals through programming supported by funding from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment

*July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016

Mission: To connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife.