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A Vacationers Review Of The Indianapolis Zoo

Updated on August 5, 2013

The State of Indiana is simply loaded with great attractions and sites that rarely receive the credit or promotion they deserve outside of their specific area. Today I would like to share with you my personal experience at the Indianapolis Zoo and give a vacationers review of the sites and attractions made available there.

Highlight Attractions

One of the first attractions my family and I visited while vacationing in Indiana was the Indianapolis Zoo. This wonderful zoo is conveniently located in White River State Park and has been open since 1964.

This particular zoo is visited by more than a million people every year, and is well known for it's contribution to worldwide conservation and research. During our visit we were lucky enough to view the worlds first African elephant born from artificial insemination.

Though the elephants are certainly an amazing sight, there are many other beautiful animals that are a must see while visiting, including Indianapolis Zoo's newest members the warthogs and the bats. The Indianapolis Zoo is split up into different ecosystems including oceans, forests, deserts and plains. There are also multiple animal specific areas for bats, snakes, and assorted species of birds.


The Indianapolis Zoo hosts special events throughout the day for entertaining the visitors and showing off the animals unique abilities. Among these events are the dolphin and seal shows and even an elephant bathing show all of which you can be physically involved in for a fee. There are even several animals such as the giraffe that you can take part in their feeding.


The first segment we went through was the underwater exhibits and I must say there were so many different types of underwater creatures in a wide variety of arrangements. My personal favorite would be the giant eels hiding away in their caves with only their vicious heads exposed waiting to snatch up a snack.

From fresh water to sea water, and from fish to sharks, there wasn't a single specimen that failed to hold our attention with their beauty and grace. The jellyfish exhibit under a black light was a truly amazing sight to see, with their appearance of floating elegance.

On the day we visited it was around 90 degrees out so many of the large cats, such as the lions and cheetahs, were lounging in the shade taking long naps, Fortunately for us, they chose shady spots within their large areas, where they were still easily viewable. The monkeys and apes on the other hand were quite active with cleaning themselves and swinging around on their various ropes and branches.


The most impressive showmanship would almost certainly have to go to our cold weather friends who were more than willing to put on a show for their curious spectators staring through the glass. While the penguins proudly strutted their stuff with dives and underwater spins the polar bear was showing off his amazing backstroke while swimming laps through his underwater caverns. The polar bear really is an incredible sight to behold in the water with his enormous size and graceful moves.

Ecosystem Breakdown


The plains area is filled with a large variety of animals that are accustomed to roaming the open plains of Africa for the most part. This area is where you will find the big cat's such as lions and cheetahs.

Predators aren't the only creatures roaming the plains though you will also find the giraffes, foxes, rhinos, ostriches and of course the elephants but these are just a handful of the exhibits the plains has to offer. The plains area is also home to the new Warthog display.


The deserts section of the zoo is a much smaller area of the zoo for several reasons. The animals on display from the deserts are generally much smaller than the animals from the plains.

Because of the desert animals specific temperature and humidity levels that are required for optimal health, they are located inside a climate controlled facility. Within this building they are able to thrive in the warm dry environment that they need. Some of the animals that can be found in this area are meerkats, desert turtles, assorted lizards and a very nice display of snakes.

Though the snakes are also located in this area, the varieties on display actually come from all over the world and include non-venomous, venomous and constricting snakes. The large displays of cobras, rattlers and assorted types of pythons and boas are quite impressive.


The oceans area is just awesome, I'm sure there are more appropriate terms to use in reference to a zoo display but awesome would certainly still be my description. This area consists of many large and highly detailed underwater landscapes right from the beginning. In these tanks you will find hundreds of varieties of colorful oceanic fish but it is also here that you will find the huge eels hiding in their coral caverns.

Also in the oceans area you will find the shark touch pool where you can do just that, touch a real life shark. A little further through and you come across the seahorses and beautiful jellyfish display followed by the seals, walrus and playful penguins. Then just as you think it's just about over you see the back stroking polar bear playfully swimming around as if he is purposely trying to amuse his spectators.


The forests area is nearly as large as the plains area but still doesn't quite compare in quantity in terms of animal variety as the plains section does, but is still none the less impressive. The forest area of the Indianapolis Zoo contains a variety of monkeys and apes that are always prepared to put on a show for your attention. Aside from the monkeys and apes there are also the glorious tigers, Alaskan brown bears, gibbens and the other brand new exhibit to the Indianapolis Zoo, the bats.

A markerIndianapolis Zoo, Indiana -
Indianapolis Zoo, Indianapolis, IN 46222, USA
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Aside from the ecosystems and their animals there are a few other areas of interest to check out during your visit to Indianapolis Zoo. There are the White River Gardens with its extensive gardens of various flowers and the Hulman Riverhouse.

There is also a carousel, a train, the kombo coaster, a 4D theater, a play area for the kids and even a splash park for you to cool yourself off. The Indianapolis zoo also offers a party pavilion that's available to rent, a gift shop, photo booth and a quaint little cafe.

All in all my family and I enjoyed our visit to the Indianapolis Zoo, and considering the amount of research this zoo contributes to saving animal species all over the world I had no problem paying an admission fee to further help with their cause.

It took my family about 5 hours to go through the zoo but we probably could have stretched it out for much longer if we hadn't been in such a hurry to get checked in to our hotel. I would definitely recommend you visiting the Indianapolis zoo when visiting the surrounding areas.

DS Duby


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    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 5 years ago from United States, Illinois

      Thank you for reading and commenting Brittney, it really is an amazing a quite beautiful zoo. I'll be back in Indy again in 2 weeks and will probably visit the zoo again. It really does have something for everyone. I actually notice there were quite a few great places within walking distance, it seems to be a great city to live in. Thanks again for checking out my review.

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      Brittney 5 years ago

      I live in Indy and we have a zoo membership....we love it and go 2-3 times a month! They have a new birds exhibit my son loves and a toddler play area...they also have a dog show now that was a lot of fun! We like to go to the zoo on days there is a baseball game in the can walk from the zoo to victory field!

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 5 years ago from United States, Illinois

      Thank you b. Malin I can't stand caged animals either which is why I don't like circus's, well that and clowns lol. Indianapolis Zoo really is a nice place where the animals are treated very well. Thank you for your kind words and commenting.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      I must say this is a very impressive Zoo. I've never been a big Fan of Caged Animals, but this place is Nice. You've really put a lot of amazing research into this Wonderful, as well as Informative Hub. I now look forward to Following your Hubs.

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 5 years ago from United States, Illinois

      That's one of the qualities I appreciate in the Indy Zoo as well SilentReed , St. Louis zoo is also a quality environment for the animals. Thank you for reading and commenting

    • SilentReed profile image

      SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines

      It's nice to see creatures roaming in their natural habitat. Watching animals through cages; one sense a feeling of sadness in their demeanor. A kind of hopelessness and resignation. Zoos that still cage animals should be banned. Three cheers for the Indianapolis zoo.

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 5 years ago from United States, Illinois

      Thank you , ChristyWrites, lovedoctor926 and LaThing for reading and commenting. We had a really good time at the zoo that day and the rest of our time in Indianapolis as well but I can't wait to get home tonight and pick my dog up in the morning lol

    • LaThing profile image

      LaThing 5 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Great article, very well presented. We love the zoo, that's one of our favorite places to visit during the summer. Have never been to the indianapolis Zoo, but will keep it in mind. Thanks for Sharing. Voting up.

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      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      Interesting and well-written hub. It looks like a very nice zoo and a wonderful place to visit.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 5 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Very cool. Your giraffe photo is awesome too!

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 5 years ago from United States, Illinois

      Indianapolis is a fun city to visit, Ive really had a lot of fun being here the last week, there are just so many sights to see. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 5 years ago from United States, Illinois

      Thank you Vampsdes it is a pretty nice zoo, but I tend to love every zoo that treats the animals well. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment

    • DS Duby profile image

      DS Duby 5 years ago from United States, Illinois

      Thank you TToombs08 I love zoos as well I think that my favorite so far is the St. Louis Zoo but it's really hard to choose.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 5 years ago from Orange, Texas

      DS, made me want to go to Indianapolis! Sounds like a great zoo. I love the zoos that have habitats like that instead of having the animals in cages.

    • Vampsdes profile image

      Vampsdes 5 years ago from Missouri, US

      Wonderful pictures. I had no idea the Indianapolis zoo was so extensive. We recently took a trip to the zoo in our area and while fun and interesting, it in no way offered the amount or varieties of animals you're talking about. This sounds like an excellent spot to visit on vacation, I hope one day to see it.

      Great hub with a lot of information! Good pictures as well, glad you enjoyed yourself. Voted up!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      What a great review of the Indianapolis Zoo. I love zoos and aquariums, I have to visit one on every vacation we go on. :) Drives the family crazy. LOL! If I ever make it to Indianapolis, I'm checking this place out! Your photos were great! Voted up and more.