What’s NEW at the ZOO? Future Planning!

The past two years have been a time of great transition for the Lake Superior Zoo! The future is looking bright! The City of Duluth (the owners of the zoo) and the Lake Superior Zoological Society (the non-profit organization that operates the zoo) have developed a new concept plan that creates new exhibits, new expansion into former park space, as well as major renovation to an existing flood-damaged structure.
Proposed Plan for the LSZoo and Fairmount Park

New Exhibits

Several of these new exhibits are currently being designed, which will be followed by a capital campaign to raise funds needed to build them. Changes which will occur over the next few years include:

  • ZOO FOOTPRINT – all on ONE side of Kingsbury Creek, and expanding up into the existing Fairmount Park area. Total acreage will change from 16 to 10 acres.
  • BEAR COUNTRY EXHIBIT – former Polar Shores exhibit will be transformed into a new exhibit for brown or grizzly bear. This expansive enclosure will provide up-close bear-viewing, dirt for digging, a pool for lounging in, and large habitat structures for a very natural feel for our new bears.
  • Revamped exhibits for the snow leopard and Siberian lynx.
  • FOREST DISCOVERY ZONE – a beautiful new section of the zoo featuring different animal species from northern forest regions and nature play areas.
  • AMPHITHEATRE/Outdoor Classroom – education and entertainment opportunities expand with this beautiful new seating and stage area.
  • Changes to main entrance building – including indoor play areas and new animals exhibits.
  • Improved Kingsbury Creek – the Minnesota DNR has done some amazing restoration work that will greatly mitigate the chance of flooding in future years.
  • NEW Fairmount Park – connecting existing trail systems with new trail systems, and creating a community gathering place in the new, revitalized St. Louis River Corridor. This change will also provide opportunities for new zoo outdoor programs.

Changes are Necessary!

In the meantime… As a part of the transition to our new zoo, there have been a number of changes to our animal collection along the Northern Territory trail. A few of our elderly animals passed away including female brown bear, wolf pack, and Pere David’s deer. Two other animals were moved to sanctuaries because their exhibits no longer met acceptable standards. Max, male cougar, was transferred to the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, MN, and Trouble, male brown bear, was transferred to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenesburg, CO. Both are doing very well in their new homes!

Here’s what’s happening!

In 2017 the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) granted accreditation to the Lake Superior Zoo for four more years.

2017 Animal Exhibits

  • Larger yard for Reeve’s muntjac
  • Two new yellow-billed hornbills in Main Building
  • Animal births: four prairie dogs, four speckled mousebirds, one ring-tailed lemur and one cotton-top tamarin
  • Beautiful Butterflies! An Up-Close Experience! A walk through exhibit opened this summer and will be open again next summer
  • Young ferrets, rabbits, quail and hedgehog in Grigg’s Learning Center
  • Two Merten’s water monitor lizards in Australia/Oceania
  • Injured, non-releasable raven near Barnyard

2016 Animal Exhibits

  • Brush-tailed bettongs, sugar gliders and Gouldian finches in Australia/Oceania
  • Turkey vulture (summer) near Barnyard
  • Nigerian dwarf goats and a second llama in Barnyard
  • Coral reef exhibit in Main Building
  • New, spacious enclosures for parrots in Griggs Learning Center
  • Silver fox exhibit outside Primate Conservation Center
  • Outdoor play yard for ring-tailed lemurs outside Primate Conservation Center

New guest experiences!

  • New behind-the-scenes tours and experiences (Click here to schedule!)
  • Cell phone audio tour
  • Nature play added to the playground
  • New animal enrichments and keeper talks
  • A variety of educational programs to choose from throughout the year!

It’s an exciting time at the zoo!

Thank you for taking the time to read about our plans! It takes time and money to develop these plans. We are truly excited about the new future for our zoo and appreciate the patience that members and supporters have shown during these changing times.

The Lake Superior Zoo will be a place that we call can all enjoy and be proud of!