Did you know?
Founded in 1978, the Minnesota Zoo exists to connect people, animals, and the natural world.
- More than 1.3 million guests visit the Zoo annually. Since 2005, attendance has increased by 40 percent.
- More than 4,300 animals (539 species) reside at the Zoo.
- More than 1000 individuals volunteered at the Zoo in 2012, contributing more than 122,000 hours.
- More than 42,000 households (180,000 individuals) have Zoo memberships.
- The Zoo’s operating budget is $23.5 million, with more than $12 million coming from earned and contributed income.
- The Minnesota Zoo has a statewide annual economic impact of more than $146 million.
Cutting-edge exhibits provide exciting experiences with animals and their habitats—introducing guests to species from around the globe in naturalistic and educational settings.
- In 2001, the Wells Fargo Family Farm—funded entirely with private dollars—won the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Best Exhibit Award.
- The Medtronic Minnesota Trail, revitalized in 2007, received AZA’s 2008 Award for "Significant Achievement" in exhibits.
- In 2008, the AZA award winning Russia’s Grizzly Coast—a $24 million state-of-the-art exhibit featuring grizzly bears, sea otters, wild boars, and Amur leopards—opened to the public. The exhibit also features a state-of-the-art Education Event Center—the Zoo’s first “green” building.
These new additions led the Zoo to be recognized by the “Meet Minneapolis” Convention and Visitors Association as the Twin City’s top tourism destination in 2008.
The Minnesota Zoo’s education programs engage audiences at the Zoo, throughout the region, and around world.
- The Zoo is the largest environmental learning center in the state. In 2012, more than 350,000 people participated in Zoo Education Programs.
- Throughout the State of Minnesota, more than 53,000 individuals participated in the Zoomobile outreach program in 2012
- The Zoo’s popular summer “Zoo Camp” program experienced record attendance in 2012 when more than 4,100 children, ages 2-18, participated.
- Expanded ZooSafari programs to 145 schools in 13 districts, attracting over 9,500 students.
Conservation is a core value of the Minnesota Zoo.
- The Zoo works locally, nationally, and internationally—with a variety of partners—on species recovery and reintroduction projects: Asian wild horse recovery in Mongolia, Black Rhino recovery in Namibia and Mountain Zebra just to name just a few.
- The Zoo participates in Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs, designed to help ensure the survival of selected threatened wildlife species through breeding and management of the captive population in U.S. zoos.
- Zoo staff participate in conservation projects around the world. Since 2002, awards have been given to 114 different projects in 44 countries.
- Committed to Minnesota conservation projects including moose, trumpeter swans, bluebirds, lynx and prairie butterfly.
Amazing animal encounters make the Minnesota Zoo one of the top zoos in the country.