Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo
3411 Sherman Blvd. Fort Wayne, Indiana 46808
Phone: (260) 427-6800
Bringing people close to animals and fostering an appreciation of wildlife has been the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo's mission - from its humble beginnings as a nature preserve to its current status as a world-class zoological facility.
The late 1990s saw a new animal display every year - warthogs, worms, a bird of prey show - growth in education programs, increased involvement in conservation efforts, and more than 10,000 families in the Zoological Society.
The zoo covered 38 acres, housed more than 1,500 animals and employed 45 people year round, with another 100 workers added in the summer.
In 2002, the 30-year-old sea lion exhibit was demolished and replaced with the
state-of-the-art Sea Lion Beach exhibit.
A Tasmanian devil named Coolah helped the zoo gain international fame in 2003. Coolah was the last Tasmanian devil in the world residing outside of Australia. When Coolah died in 2004, zoos and devil fans from around the world expressed their condolences.
Sharks, Rays, and Jellyfish were a highlight of 2004. This new exhibit included two new tanks for jellyfish and a 50,000-gallon aquarium for black-tipped sharks. The sharks shared top billing with three Sumatran tiger cubs born on
In September 2006, the zoo announced plans for its most ambitious project to date: A complete renovation of the 30-year-old African Veldt. The new exhibit, called the African Journey, includes African lions, hyenas, mongoose, and many other species never before exhibited at the zoo. The first phase of the exhibit, the Sky, Safari, opened in spring 2007.
The African Journey's grand opening in 2009 brought unprecedented publicity to the zoo. Parents magazine named the zoo one of the nation's "Top Ten Zoos for Kids." More than 613,000 people visited the zoo in 2009, far outpacing the previous record of 540,000 guests in 1994.