The Indianapolis Zoo was founded in 1964, operating for nearly 60 years. It is the largest of six zoos in Indiana, and it is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The AZA formally recognizes the Indianapolis Zoo as a zoo, aquarium and botanical garden. In fact, it was the first facility ever to receive all three accreditations from the AZA. The Indianapolis Zoo is a non-profit organization, working to serve the people in the Indianapolis area with access to wildlife, knowledge and recreation.
The zoo is currently home to more than 3,800 animals. Those animals include 320 different species and subspecies. The zoo layout is organized into eight distinct biomes, allowing visitors to see animals from oceans, forests, deserts, plains and more. The range of animals represents wildlife across the globe.
One of the major highlights at the zoo is the St. Vincent Dolphin Pavilion. It tries to bring people and dolphins closer together with a number of direct interaction activities. There is a massive underwater viewing dome where people can see dolphins in their normal behavioral environment. The Indianapolis Zoo was also the first zoo in the country to have a dolphin performance pool.
Another major highlight at the zoo is the International Orangutan Center. It is part of an international effort to improve orangutan-related research. The facility at the Indianapolis Zoo houses nine orangutans for observation and study. Guests to the zoo can observe the orangutans via the 90-foot viewing atrium. There is also an aerial cable ride.
Over the years, things have changed and grown at the Indianapolis Zoo. It was originally located at George Washington Park. In the 1980s, it was relocated to a place where there was more space and room to grow. Since then, the zoo has been at its current location at White River State Park.
The current facility spans 64 acres and sees more than a million visitors each year. An additional 41 acres of expansion are planned in the coming years.
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