Living a Zoo Dream – American Crow

The spring weather is here, and the sun is shining through my window as I write. This past week the zoo continued to prepare for the spring season, and I have been busy meeting with people throughout the community. My animal highlight this week is the American crow.

The zoo has two American crows, Diaval and Draven. While many people find it odd to discover a crow at a zoo, they soon learn that crows are amazingly interesting and intelligent animals. Our crows were wild-caught injured birds. Because of their injuries, they could not survive in the wild and now are permanent residents of the zoo. Most people think of crows as common and fairly simple animals. But research has put their intelligence near that of non-human primates. Here is a link to a video that highlights the amazing feats of these unique animals.

Also, while crows are common in Minnesota, they face difficult circumstances in other parts of the world. The Hawaiian crow, or ʻalalā, was extinct in the wild until conservation groups stepped in to help. Here is a link to a video that talks about ʻalalā and other Hawaiian birds that are facing extinction. Education is central to the mission of our zoo, and we work to promote conservation around the globe. Please watch the video and learn what you can do to help.

To share the story of our zoo, I traveled to the Minnesota Capitol this past week for Duluth & St. Louis County Days. This is an opportunity for groups from throughout St. Louis County to meet with state legislators and discuss important projects in our area. For the zoo, we discussed the great things that we plan to do with Legacy funding from the state, as well as seeking bonding support to help develop new engaging, educational and environmentally sustainable animal exhibits. Please reach out to your local and state officials to emphasize the importance of these funding sources for the zoo.

Finally, the zoo last week hosted Zoo La Palooza, an annual fundraiser for its supporters. More than 300 individuals attended, played games and enjoyed each other’s company. I enjoyed meeting so many people who love and support our amazing zoo. I continue to be overwhelmed by the passion and caring that the citizens of Duluth and the surrounding region have for this historic place.

Thanks again for keeping up with my blog. Please let me know if there are any topics of interest you want me to cover in the future.

Corey Leet is CEO of the Lake Superior Zoo. You can contact him at or 218-730-4500, extension 203. Find his blog at and on the Lake Superior Zoo’s Facebook and Twitter profiles.

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