Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley, MN
Apple Valley Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
The Minnesota Zoo is located a mile east of Highway 77 (Cedar) on County Road 38(McAndrews), 13000 Zoo Blvd, Apple Valley, MN. 56124
The Minnesota Zoo is a state agency. This differs from other zoos in Minnesota and most zoos in the United States, which are run by municipalities or private organizations. The Minnesota Zoo charges admission and sells annual memberships.
It is also home to a high school, the School of Environmental Studies.
History of the Minnesota Zoo
More than 40 years ago, a vision was born for a zoo like no otherÃ¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½"a place where guests can view exotic animals from around the world in natural habitats and a garden-like setting.
A Radical Concept
In the 1960s, local conservationists began lobbying for an expansive zoo facility that would not only feature species native to Minnesota but also animals in naturalistic settings and outdoor exhibits. When Dakota County donated the Apple Valley parcel to the state in 1970, Zoo organizers had the space they needed to build the large exhibits they envisioned, including a monorail as a means of transporting visitors to the far reaches, affording them a birdÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s-eye-view of the expansive outdoor exhibits. Compared with the layouts and exhibits of most North American zoos, this was a radical concept offering a very unique visitor experienceÃ¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½"open exhibits, naturalistic settings, and glass partitions or other security barriers replacing the traditional steel bars.
Making a Difference
Since the beginning, conservation has been a core value of the Minnesota Zoo. Our focus has always been on animals that are considered threatened or endangered based on the premise that zoos have a responsibility to educate, maintain, and provide information and research on rare species.
- The Minnesota Zoo is a leader in tiger conservation and is known internationally for our efforts in both in situ and ex situ tiger conservation programs in Southeast Asia.
- The ZooÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s partnership with Ujung Kulon Kambas National Park in Sumatra, Indonesia was the first Adopt-a-Park of its kind and has spurred other zoos to form similar partnerships.
- We work locally, nationally and internationally on recovery and reintroduction projects: trumpeter swan restoration in Midwest, Asian Wild Horse recovery in Mongolia, Bluebird recovery in Minnesota, and Mexican Wolf recovery and reintroduction in the Southwest U.S.
Managing Captive Populations
Taking the lead in conservation means the Minnesota Zoo not only supports the preservation of animals in their natural habitats, it also carefully manages the birds, beasts, and fish within its own collection. Modern zoos are in some cases the last line of defense for species that are threatened or have already vanished from the earth.
The Minnesota Zoo participates in more than 20 Species Survival Plans of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association, an ongoing effort to manage and breed zoo animals that may face extinction in the wild.
Changing How You See the World
From the beginning, the Minnesota Zoo has changed peopleÃ¢ï¿½ï¿½s perceptions of what a zoo can be. More than 30 million guests have walked through the gates into a world of exotic and rare animals, award winning exhibits, nationally recognized education programs, and leading conservation efforts. The Minnesota Zoo will continue to provide unique exhibits of animals with enriched lives while offering guests closer and more engaging encounters with nature. It will continue its missionÃ¯Â¿Â½Ã¯Â¿Â½"to connect people, animals, and the natural world.