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McClain.jpg- 1957 - Gordon McLain purchased land located just off Route 6 in Coal Valley, Illinois. It took almost two years to clear the ground and construct the first building.

- 1959 - Mr. McLain, a masonry contractor with an interest in exotic animals, opened the gates to the public. The McLain’s Wild Animal Farm was a family owned and operated venture.

- 1963 - Mrs. Charles Deere Wiman (Pattie Harris Wiman) purchased the farm and additional land in January. In May, she deeded the farm to the County of Rock Island.

- The Zoo was named Niabi, which means "fawn spared by the hunter" in the Osage Native American language.

- The Niabi Zoo occupies 40 of 287 total acres and is part of the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District.