Press Room
May 17, 2019

COAL VALLEY, Ill. (April 3, 2018)– Niabi Zoo will open its gates to the public on April 13 at 10 a.m. following the Members-only Egg Hunt that morning. The zoo will be open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Last entry will be at 4 p.m.  

“It’s an exciting time at Niabi,” said Lee Jackson, Niabi Zoo director. “We’re looking forward to welcoming visitors to see and learn about our new species.”

This season, guests can see Katavi, the baby Colobus monkey who was born this past December to his parents, Shirati and Tuli. At nearly four months old, the baby monkey is part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP), which helps ensure the survival of selected species in zoos, most of which are threatened or endangered in the wild.

Two new African primates, an Allen’s Swamp Monkey and a Wolf’s Guenon, will also be making their debut at Niabi Zoo. They are housed in the building formally referred to as the giraffe barn. The social animals like to climb around and show their emotions through a wide-range of facial expressions.

Beyond that, New Guinea Singing Dogs will make their entrance. These pooches use their big voices to communicate and can be found in the Biodiversity Hall.

“We can’t wait for guests to experience Niabi Zoo this season,” said Jackson. “This year our big focus is making each experience a different one for visitors. We’ve beefed up our special events calendar so every time you come back to the zoo this season, you’ll experience something new.”

The zoo has planned events every weekend in 2019 including during its new winter weekend hours in November and December. A full calendar of events can be found on Niabi’s new website at

Members-only  Egg Hunt

The zoo is kicking off the event-filled year with the highly anticipated Members-only Egg Hunt on opening day from 8-10 a.m. Those interested in attending the Members-only Egg Hunt must become members and RSVP by April 5.

Zoo gates will open for the Members-only Egg Hunt at 8 a.m. and the last entry will be at 8:45 a.m. Children ages 2-4 years will hunt for eggs first on the Festival Lawn at 9 a.m., and children ages 5-8 years will immediately follow around 9:15 a.m. There will also be a scavenger hunt held for those ages 9-12 years old, and prizes will be awarded for completed hunt sheets turned in at the gift shop. The event will end at 10 a.m., at which time Niabi Zoo will open to the public for the first time this year.

“The Members-only Egg Hunt is a fun-filled family tradition that we’re glad to offer our members,” said Jackson. “We’ll have candy, giveaways and photo opps with our mascot and the Easter Bunny. We’re also excited to once again have educators and volunteer interpreters on hand to teach about the animals at Niabi.”

For current members who would like to RSVP for the Members-only Egg Hunt, visit

Becoming a member

Annual membership costs range from $45 to $500 based on family size. Members have free admission and parking to Niabi Zoo every day of regular season plus access to seasonal events and various additional perks. Visit to learn more about becoming a member.

Without a membership, general admission costs range from $6.50 to $9.00 per person. Parking is $3 per vehicle, and $12 per bus/RV.

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