Mission Statement – Let the World Surround You at Roosevelt Park Zoo!
Vision: We aspire to enthusiastically value, protect, and conserve the natural world.
Mission: Roosevelt Park Zoo strives to provide education, experiences, and knowledge promoting wildlife understanding, conservation, and an intrinsic, personal connection with the natural world.
- Be a regional leader and innovator in conservation efforts.
- Provide the highest standard of care for the health and well-being of the animals under our supervision.
- Present guests with a clean, safe, pleasant, fun and ever-changing atmosphere to help foster appreciation, understanding and respect for all natural things.
- Provide the region with engaging and inspirational experiences to spark a passion to preserve the natural world around them.
- Create a fun and rewarding place to visit, work, and volunteer.
- Offer rewarding and educational experiences the community and staff are proud of.
- Educate with the use of “animal ambassadors” to explain different animal species, the complexity of ecosystems, and the various habitats throughout the world.
General Information and History
Roosevelt Park Zoo was established in 1920 with the first animal being a male bison from Montana. In 1921, the original bear den and zoological building were constructed. The zoological building housed a menagerie of animals including lions, primates, alligators, exotic birds and more. Through the 1930 -1940s, funds and materials were tight due to the Great Depression and WWII. During the late 1940s -1960s, the zoo animal population increased and the area started to look like a zoo.
The flood of '69 caused every animal to be evacuated from zoo grounds. The flood proved to be a blessing in disguise. The devastation forced the zoo to be re-designed. The Greater Minot Zoological Society was formed in 1970 and partnered with the Minot Park District in rebuilding the Zoo. In the following years, a new bear den, primate exhibits and feline complex were constructed.
During the 1980s – 1990s, the Zoo experienced great growth. African Penguins, Reticulated Giraffes, Plains Zebras, and African Warthogs were added. The Children Zoo was constructed on the north side of the river. The Zoo became accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Over the years, exhibit construction and animal husbandry embodied modern zoo theory and ethics. The focus shifted to provide naturalistic and enriching exhibits for the health and enjoyment of our zoo animals. This is clearly evident in our award winning River Otter exhibit. Built in 2002, this exhibit offers water features and pools, various climbing perches and natural substrate to stimulate the animals. It also incorporates various viewing angles for our visitor's enjoyment. Modern zoo theory not only establishes a strong focus on a high standard of animal husbandry but, also helps provide a unique opportunity to engage our visitors and encourage wildlife understanding and promote conservation for the natural world. Through the 2000s, zookeeper staff learned valuable animal training techniques and incorporate enrichment activities for our animals.
In June 2011, the Zoo was again struck with a catastrophic flood. Every animal was evacuated and the Zoo was engulfed in water up to 8ft deep for a period of three weeks. Over 40 buildings and structures were flooded. It took two years for the zoo to reopen. Many of our animals were placed at other zoos while we rebuilt and restored the buildings and exhibits.
Now having overcome the challenges and devastation of the flood, we are dedicated to furthering our mission to be a great zoo. We have increased our conservation initiatives with programs such as Frog Watch, Snow Leopard Trust and Care for Karamoja. We have implemented a very successful internship program. Plans are underway to redesign our most aged exhibits and address permanent flood protection. We are optimistic and enthusiastic about our future.
The Roosevelt Park Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. We proudly participate in important conservation breeding programs such as, Species Survival Program (SSP) and Population Management Program (PMP).
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