History of the Minnesota Zoo

More than 40 years ago, a vision was born for a zoo like no other—a place where guests can view animals from around the world in natural habitats and a garden-like setting. After years of dreaming, discussion, planning, and construction, the Minnesota Zoological Garden, or Minnesota Zoo, opened on May 22, 1978. Called the “New Zoo” back then, it featured 1,200 animals representing 238 species. Fast forward to today, and you’ll experience a zoo that has doubled its animal collection, is the largest environmental education center in the state, and has become a worldwide leader in conservation.

1960s - 1970s