of Africa is recreated in Indianapolis in the expansive Plains Biome.
As you begin your journey, you see a large vista where a variety of African
animals graze, including kudu, zebra and vultures. Around the corner,
giraffes pluck leaves from trees, cheetahs race, and elephants interact
quietly by a waterhole. East African crowned cranes and Marabou storks rest
near a pond that runs under a wooden bridge carving a visitor trail through
the plains with exhibits of lions, wild dogs and baboons.
Twice a day during the summer months, visitors pay a
small fee for the extraordinary experience of
from a special platform
adjacent to the giraffe exhibit. Both the giraffe
exhibit and giraffe feeding are presented by
Meijer. The Indianapolis Zoo is
one of only a very few zoos in the country to
feature this interaction where you can have feel the
touch of a giraffe's 18-inch long tongue as it
scoops up a delicious piece of sweet potato.
Photo by Shannon Gaughn-Kelly
The Indianapolis Zoo’s
rhino exhibit, features
unprecedented vistas, including a dynamic elevated overlook
pavilion that is thrust into the center of the exhibit itself and is reached
by crossing a rope suspension bridge. Resembling an African safari
tent nestled among shady trees, this covered pavilion exemplifies the Zoo’s
approach on this exhibit – giving you the opportunity to get
as close as possible to these two-ton animals so you may begin to understand
what is authentically wondrous about rhinos.
Photo by Don Reynolds
The Indianapolis Zoo is well known throughout the world for its
cutting edge research into
reproduction. The Zoo was the site for the first and
second African elephants in the world conceived and
successfully born through artificial insemination.
We currently have a herd of eight elephants. When you
visit the Zoo on a hot summer day, you will often
find some of them bathing in their pool.
Photo by Don Reynolds
The lion exhibit is presented by Harris Bank and is
home to three of these magnificent cats - a full-maned
male named Nyack and two females, "senior lioness"
Shamfa and young female Zuri. There are
multiple viewing angles for you to observe the lions
playing around, roaring, staring at the cheetahs
across the way, or indulging in a cat's favorite
past-time of all - sleeping!
Photo by Ken Pace
Cheetah: The Race for Survival in partnership with
the Tony Stewart Foundation is one of most
interesting exhibits at the Zoo. It's home to four
cheetahs (two females, two males) on opposite
sides of the exhibit, which features fabulous
opportunities to view cheetahs way up
close. The cheetah is the fastest land animal, but
is also one of the most endangered, with only 10,000
remaining in the wild.
Photo by Jackie Curts
Other Animals to Look for in our Plains
Grant's Zebra, Addra Gazelle, Greater Kudu,
Wildebeest, Marabou Stork, Wild Dogs,
Baboons, East African Crowned Crane, Guinea Fowl,
Yellow Hornbill, Bat-Eared Foxes, Crested