“2018 will mark the 90th anniversary of the Washington Park Zoo and to celebrate we are planning a fun filled season”, said Jamie Huss, zoo director. “The Zoo has a long and rich community history beginning with our start in 1928 and our WPA (Works Progress Administration) construction in the 1930’s”. “To mark this significant milestone, a variety of activities will be offered to visitors to commemorate the lasting effects the Zoo has had on Michigan City and the surrounding community and beyond”.
The Washington Park Zoo is a dedicated sanctuary for exotic animals in need of a safe home. Some of the zoo’s residents are misplaced pets that are too wild or were confiscated as illegally owned. Some have suffered injuries that would make life in the wild impossible and others were removed by the DNR. In all cases, the residents are provided the best environment for their health and mental enrichment needs. Approximately 200 animals call Washington Park Zoo their
home and the staff is dedicated to their care while educating visitors about their relatives in the wild.
The Zoo set a record for attendance in 2017, as of October 2017, more than 100,000 guests had visited the furry, feathered and scaly friends. Many of the zoo goers come from Michigan City, but 88% were from out of town and those numbers have a significant impact on the local economy.
Since 2015 the Zoo has been moving forward with a 5-year strategic plan, which has enabled them to continue upgrades to exhibits, buildings and grounds. With so much done and yet so much left to do, they are gearing up to launch a major “Roaring Wild for the Zoo” fundraiser campaign. The campaign will focus on raising funds to modernize some of the major exhibits.