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.
In 2018, we opened the largest project in our history, Camp Cowabunga. We now 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
2020: First Year of Zoo Lights
2021: Governance Transition
2022: Dinosaurs Alive! Featuring Lifesize Animatronic Dinosaurs!