20
Orangutan Header

Celebrating 85 Years

Nestled in Gage Park, the Topeka Zoological Park was founded in 1933. We renamed in 2016 to the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center to better reflect our endeavors. Proudly accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, we strive to enrich the community through wildlife conservation and education.

As we prepare to open the largest project in our history, Camp Cowabunga, we look back on some of the moments that helped shape who we are.

A few significant dates in our history:

1966: Animals and Man opens

1971: Gary Clarke, Zoo Director, becomes the first president of the reformed Association of Zoos and Aquariums

1974: Tropical Rainforest opens

1978: Zoo School program begins, formally educating the public

1984: Discovering Apes Phase I opens: Orangutans

1985: Discovering Apes Phase II opens: Gorilla Encounter

1989: Lions Pride opens

1992: Children’s Zoo opens

1997: Hill’s Black Bear Woods opens

2004: Gary Clarke Education Center opens

2007: Jungle Cats opens

2009: Kansas Carnivores opens

2015: Adventure Trails featuring Lorikeet Feeding Aviary opens

2016: Butterfly Pavilion opens

2018: Camp Cowabunga opens Labor Day Weekend

2020: Kay’s Garden and Venue projected opening

Gallery

Golden Eagle Fledgling Eaglet
Golden Eagle Fledgling Eaglet
Grand Opening of Lions Pride: Samburu 1989
Grand Opening of Lions Pride: Samburu 1989
The Rainforest opened in 1974 and featured many innovative exhibits, such as this Asian Smalll Clawed Otter habitat.
The Rainforest opened in 1974 and featured many innovative exhibits, such as this Asian Smalll Clawed Otter habitat.
Topekans helped fundraise for the Animals and Man building by collecting bread wrappers. Animals and Man opened in 1966.
Topekans helped fundraise for the Animals and Man building by collecting bread wrappers. Animals and Man opened in 1966.
Children Zoo opened in 1992 and featured goats, sheep, and pot-bellied pigs: Wilbur and Waldo.
Children Zoo opened in 1992 and featured goats, sheep, and pot-bellied pigs: Wilbur and Waldo.
Guests visit Sunflower a few months after her birth on August 24th, 1970.
Guests visit Sunflower a few months after her birth on August 24th, 1970.
Tembo the African Elephant enjoying enrichment prepared by her zookeepers.
Tembo the African Elephant enjoying enrichment prepared by her zookeepers.
Topeka Zoo was the first zoo to hatch Golden Eagles in human care.
Topeka Zoo was the first zoo to hatch Golden Eagles in human care.
Rare white alligators visited in the summer of 2000.
Rare white alligators visited in the summer of 2000.
Membership Appreciation Night 2015
Membership Appreciation Night 2015
Gemsbok and other hoofstock previously resided where our current North American collection exists.
Gemsbok and other hoofstock previously resided where our current North American collection exists.
Sea Lion Splash educated and entertained guest in the summer of 2018.
Sea Lion Splash educated and entertained guest in the summer of 2018.
Lioness Cub Arusha and Director Gary Clarke
Lioness Cub Arusha and Director Gary Clarke
World Famous Topeka Zoo
World Famous Topeka Zoo
Bates Waterfall: named after the famous rainforest explorer and naturalist, Henry Walter Bates
Bates Waterfall: named after the famous rainforest explorer and naturalist, Henry Walter Bates
Director Brendan Wiley with Hope the Reticulated Giraffe. Both began their tenure in 2010.
Director Brendan Wiley with Hope the Reticulated Giraffe. Both began their tenure in 2010.
Vision the Hippopotamus was the first hippo born in Kansas in 2010.
Vision the Hippopotamus was the first hippo born in Kansas in 2010.
Ice Day was a popular feature for both guests and animals in August.
Ice Day was a popular feature for both guests and animals in August.
Monkey Island !!!
Monkey Island !!!
The Gorilla Encounter in Phase II was the first glass tunnel exhibit in North America that provided a 360 degree view of the gorillas.
The Gorilla Encounter in Phase II was the first glass tunnel exhibit in North America that provided a 360 degree view of the gorillas.
Hope the Reticulated Giraffe was born with hyperextended fetlocks which required special casts and physical therapy in order to thrive.
Hope the Reticulated Giraffe was born with hyperextended fetlocks which required special casts and physical therapy in order to thrive.
The steel spiderweb originally debuted in the Tropical Rainforest and now resides on the wall of Animals and Man.
The steel spiderweb originally debuted in the Tropical Rainforest and now resides on the wall of Animals and Man.
The original pride of lions featured a male, Samburu, and two females, Arusha and Manyara.
The original pride of lions featured a male, Samburu, and two females, Arusha and Manyara.
Sneak and Peak, the first bears to reside in Hills Black Bear Woods, which opened in 1996.
Sneak and Peak, the first bears to reside in Hills Black Bear Woods, which opened in 1996.
Exhibits evolved over the past several decades as natural habitats and enrichment became focal points.
Exhibits evolved over the past several decades as natural habitats and enrichment became focal points.
First Giraffe Born in Kansas: Sunflower
First Giraffe Born in Kansas: Sunflower
Discovering Apes Phase II: Gorilla Tunnel Opened in 1985
Discovering Apes Phase II: Gorilla Tunnel Opened in 1985
Treetops Conservation Center Opening Day: 2012
Treetops Conservation Center Opening Day: 2012
Director Gary Clarke and Tembo the African Elephant: late 1980s
Director Gary Clarke and Tembo the African Elephant: late 1980s
Butterfly Pavilion opened in 2016, featuring five native butterfly species.
Butterfly Pavilion opened in 2016, featuring five native butterfly species.
Adventure Trails featuring Lorikeet feedings opened in 2015.
Adventure Trails featuring Lorikeet feedings opened in 2015.
Giant Indian Fruit Bat flying in the Tropical Rainforest.
Giant Indian Fruit Bat flying in the Tropical Rainforest.
May the Fourth be with You! Three Sumatran Tiger cubs, ChloJo, Shanti, and Raza, were born to mother, Jingga, and father, Rojo, on the fourth of May 2014.
May the Fourth be with You! Three Sumatran Tiger cubs, ChloJo, Shanti, and Raza, were born to mother, Jingga, and father, Rojo, on the fourth of May 2014.
Topekans supported the Max Loves Tiffany Fundraising Campaign
Topekans supported the Max Loves Tiffany Fundraising Campaign
Tiffany the Western Lowland Gorilla
Tiffany the Western Lowland Gorilla
The docent program spans decades of dedicated service educating the public.
The docent program spans decades of dedicated service educating the public.
We no longer breed Golden Eagles as the wild population reached a sustainable level.
We no longer breed Golden Eagles as the wild population reached a sustainable level.

You Make a Difference

Every day we strive to end wildlife extinction.

Your choice to support the Topeka Zoo is an opportunity to change our world for the better.