Press Room
May 17, 2019

COAL VALLEY, Ill. (May 7, 2019)– In consideration of the countless gifts mothers bestow on their children, Niabi Zoo is extending a heartfelt thanks to moms by providing free admission to mothers on Mother’s Day, May 12. The zoo will be open all day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with last admission at 4 p.m.

The Niabi team loves seeing the way their animal mothers care for their children. Baby Colobus monkey, Katavi, who was born last December, has stuck close to his mom.

“Katavi continues to hit milestone after milestone as he grows quickly,” said Tammy Schmidt, assistant director, Niabi Zoo. “He is speeding towards adulthood, and he is developing his climbing muscles. Katavi has grown so well and so fast. It’s a great testament to his mom and the family troop!”

Niabi also has newly hatched blue-tailed skinks. They are now in the Reptile House. In the Biodiversity Hall, guests can see Desert Spiny Swift lizards, which also recently hatched.

Niabi’s mission goes beyond giving the community the chance to view wild animals – and remains focused on conservation as the heart of the zoo’s purpose. Baby Katavi is part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP), which helps ensure the survival of selected species through zoological breeding, most of which are threatened or endangered in the wild.

Beyond serving as conservation champions for the animals that call Niabi home, Niabi also advocates for conservation initiatives around the world. On Mother’s Day, Niabi will welcome conservation biologist Debbie Clemens, who will speak about Missing Orangutan Mothers (MOM). She will teach about the importance of the orangutan mother-child relationship and how guests can support orphaned orangutans, who have been orphaned due to the Palm Oil Crisis in which forests are cleared for palm plantations.

“Moms are instrumental in an orangutan’s upbringing – just as they are in a human’s upbringing,” said Lee Jackson, director, Niabi Zoo. “We’re excited to have Debbie join us and share her knowledge on MOM.”

Clemens will be speaking throughout the day on Mother’s Day. The zoo is open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. seven days per week, with last entry at 4 p.m. To plan your Mother’s Day at Niabi, visit

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