Minnesota Zoo

zoo in Apple Valley, Minnesota, United States

The Minnesota Zoo (formerly the Minnesota Zoological Garden), is a zoo in Apple Valley, Minnesota. It is one of two state-owned zoos in the United States, with the other being the North Carolina Zoo.[4] When it opened on May 22, 1978, it was revolutionary in its exhibit design.[1] The zoo is built in a suburban rural area and has more space for exhibits than a zoo in a city. It was one of the first zoos to organize its animals by their living environment and not according to their species. These animals all live in habitats designed to imitate their natural habitats.[1]

Minnesota Zoo
Amur leopards in the zoo
Date openedMay 22, 1978[1]
LocationApple Valley, Minnesota, United States
Land area485 acres (196 ha)
Coordinates44°46′07″N 93°11′56″W / 44.76861°N 93.19889°W / 44.76861; -93.19889
No. of animals4,509 (2019)[2]
No. of species505 (2019)[2]
Total volume of tanks1,100,000 US gallons (4,200,000 L)
Annual visitors1.3 million (2019)[2]
MembershipsAssociation of Zoos and Aquariums (United States)
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums[3]

The Minnesota Zoo is owned by the State of Minnesota. This differs from other zoos in Minnesota and most other zoos in the United States, which are run by municipalities or private companies. Although the Minnesota Zoo gets state funding, the zoo charges a fee for visitors and also sells yearly memberships to visitors, who then don't have to pay a fee at each visit.[5]

A high school, the School of Environmental Studies, is located inside the zoo.

Exhibits and attractions


The exhibits are organized into six areas, including three walking trails ranging from one mile (1.6 kilometers) to two miles (3.2 kilometers) in length:[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 "History & Timeline". www.mnzoo.org. 2023. Retrieved 2023-11-26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "The Minnesota Zoo at a Glance". www.mnzoo.org. 2023. Retrieved 2023-11-26.
  3. "About Us". www.mnzoo.org. 2023. Retrieved 2023-11-26.
  4. Matt Hickman (April 2022). "The Minnesota Zoo kicks off transformation of defunct monorail track into elevated pedestrian loop". The Architect's Newspaper. Retrieved 2023-11-26.
  5. "Membership". www.mnzoo.org. 2023. Retrieved 2023-11-26.

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