Zoo hours for 2024: The zoo is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last entry is at 4 p.m. The zoo is closed on Mondays, except for Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Indigenous Peoples Day. Please note that some exhibits are closed due to construction. For more information, visit 'Plan Your Visit' - 'Hours & Pricing'. (dismiss)
Press Room
February 9, 2024

COAL VALLEY, ILLINOIS (February 8, 2024) — Niabi Zoo experienced significant damage to facilities and infrastructure during five days of heavy snowfall between January 8-12, 2024. A full assessment of the damage is underway. No animals were in danger or harmed during the snowfall, and the zoo remains closed for the season.

The winter storm hit Niabi Zoo with more than 25 inches of wet, heavy snow that placed unprecedented strain on zoo infrastructure and animal habitats.

Throughout the snow event, zoo staff were able to provide uninterrupted care for all the animals. Seven of the zoo’s big cats have been safely relocated within Niabi Zoo to appropriate facilities. Two of the zoo’s amur leopards are now in the care of Toledo Zoo and Aquarium in Toledo, Ohio. The move was intended to take place at a later date as part of a cooperative breeding program, however due to the significant damage to the cathouse, zoo staff made the determination to expedite the move.

“I’m grateful to our staff for doing an amazing job modifying temporary spaces and getting our displaced animals into safe areas,” said Lee Jackson, Niabi Zoo director. “The staff’s compassion for our animals is what makes Niabi Zoo a leader in conservation and education.”

Niabi Zoo is working with insurance adjustors to make full assessment of the damage and organize a plan for the full restoration of the park and its critical infrastructure. The most significant damage includes the collapse of the outdoor cathouse, sagging of the supports in the eagle enclosure, partial collapse of the Pallas 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.

The Niabi Zoo team is working in partnership with the Rock Island County Forest Preserve District Board to determine the next steps in restoration of the zoo.

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