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Press Room
April 16, 2024

COAL VALLEY, ILLINOIS (March 22, 2024) — Niabi Zoo is pleased to announce Opening Day for the 2024 season is now scheduled for Tuesday, April 30. The zoo staff is working hard to prepare for visitors since heavy snowfall in January caused significant damage to facilities and infrastructure.

While the full assessment of the damage is underway and restoration plan is in development, a number of animal habitats will be closed, and several animals will be unavailable for viewing. To acknowledge the impact on the visitor experience, guests are encouraged to enjoy the zoo grounds at a discounted rate both online and at the gate as a thank you for their support.

While additional construction will be taking place on the grounds, Niabi Zoo will operate under a modified schedule. Please refer to our website for details.

The winter storm in January hit Niabi Zoo with more than 25 inches of wet, heavy snow that placed unprecedented strain on zoo infrastructure and animal habitats. The most significant damage includes the collapse of the outdoor cathouse, sagging of the supports in the eagle enclosure, partial collapse of the Pallas’s cat exhibit and roof damage in the aviary home to birds and guinea pigs. The canvas top over the carousel will also need to be fully replaced.

While insurance coverage will help make some of the necessary repairs to restore the zoo, the public can also support Niabi’s mission to assure a better tomorrow for all living things by making a donation to the Niabi Zoo Foundation, the official fundraising venue for Niabi. With a contribution to the Foundation, 100% of the funds will benefit the recovery effort and build a better Niabi for generations to come. Donations are accepted here.


About Niabi Zoo

Niabi Zoo, which is operated by the Forest Preserve District of Rock Island County, offers an opportunity to explore more than 40 acres in Coal Valley, Illinois and discover more than 600 animals from around the world. The Zoo places great emphasis on educating people of all ages about the importance of conservation and how they can play a part in saving species and ecosystems for future generations. Niabi Zoo is working today to assure a better tomorrow for all living things.

For more information about the Zoo, visit NiabiZoo.com. To learn more about the Niabi Zoo Foundation, visit Niabizoofoundation.com.


For Immediate Release


Media Contact:

Lee Jackson, Zoo Director

#(309) 799-3482



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