Indianapolis Zoo

Indianapolis used to keep various animals in various parks around the city before creating a formal zoo in 1906 near the current Riverside location. WW1 kiboshed the zoo as conservation measures made it difficult to feed them, so they sold off the animals.

Fast forward to WW2, and how times have changed. In the middle of the war, a campaign was started by a local newspaper columnist to create a formal zoo in 1944. It took 20 more years and then finally in 1964 in Washington Park (far from the current location) a zoo was finally opened and formalized. This is the zoo I remember as a kid.

Well, if you've been to Washington Park, it's an ok, but not ideal, location for a zoo, and in 1984 they began moving it to White River state park (the new size of the area really helped).

The Arrival

My daughter and I walked from our hotel in downtown west to the zoo, an easy walk into the park but the entrance is not near the bridge, so we had to take a bit of a roundabout way to get in to the somewhat non-animal area at front.
Then it was to the first aquatic center, with much marine life on display and some you can even interact with.
And then onto aquatic center #2, which is specifically only for dolphins who are quite playful and interested in people around the viewing areas.
Dolphins lording above us
Then we ventured further into the zoo for a desert biome. Now, there is what we call Indiana Hot in the summer. It's hot, it's really hot, but inside this building? WOW, almost unbearably hot, how the animals in here survive is incredible and quite a nod to the diversity of the planet.
Onward to the orangutan center, which, I could not get my daughter interested in going into, so, here is the skyway and some of the outside areas used for exercise and to keep them apart when there are issues.
The Skyline, where you can see a bit of the zoo from an eagles view Orangutan looking bored off his ass
Now, the plains area, many African animals and the train! (the zoo has had a train since the 60s and as a kid this was my favorite part, and I am sure the site of tantrums afterwards).
And now the birds and ubiquitous zoo carousel!
And finally, the forest animals area, where you see things that scare people in Grimms fairy tales, and really cool animals too!
There is also a picnic area and some cafes around with hot food on demand.
Picnic area, partially rented out to a private group
Tropical plants in the hothouse There are some butterflies flitting about here also Trying to prevent extinctions planet wide Cool 360 immersive views Seals Seals saying Hi! Various underwater displays of aquatic life Rays and sharks touch tank, a ray went nuts and absolutely drenched both of us just walking by Not sure why Macaques are part of water animals, but I'm no zoologist! Dolphins lording above us Realistic and live habitat Turtles walking around The Sandcat, my daughter almost died of the cute All kinds of lethal snakes The Skyline, where you can see a bit of the zoo from an eagles view Orangutan looking bored off his ass Zebras and wildebeests meandering about without predatory pressure Rare gazelles The first of 3 elephant enclosures The 2nd enclosure, larger, with multiple elephants Warthog, if you saw this in the wild, you're probably looking at a funeral The cheetahs, my favorite animal in the world Rwar, the ladies were quite loud that day The train!!! Quite a decently lengthened trip over the plains and through the support areas Inside and up close with the birds Yes, this close And even closer Carousels seem to be the thing zoos needs now Does a bear hide in a cave? He was enjoying a cool bath in this heat Sooo, you're inside with them, and supposedly can pet them, but I just came back from Australia, and I would not suggest it Picnic area, partially rented out to a private group The zoo shop with the zoo things!


This zoo has a special place for me as it's the first zoo I remember. In my home state, and it's also quite large and super environment appropriate for the animals enclosed.

You can kill an entire day here if you want, and probably will.
The zoo shop with the zoo things!

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