Niabi Zoo set to open April 14th

Going through winter and the back/forth in temperatures before spring finally decides to stay, it’s important to remember the beauty on the other side of winter when we’re feeling that the snowfall and cold temperatures will never end. Think of the sunshine and outdoor adventures. Think of taking the ones you love, your favorite kiddos, or just yourself on an adventure to the local zoo.

Blogger Katy takes visits Niabi Zoo with Henry.

Filled with animals and adventure, Niabi Zoo is ready to reopen for the season on Saturday, April 14, 2018.

Home to over 600 animals and 140 diverse species, our local zoo is nothing short of spectacular in its display and nurture of snow leopards, octopi, giraffes, wolves, and more. Equipped with a scenery-filled train ride that’s been around for generations and a carousel of delight, fun waits around every corner.

Among many new species this season Niabi introduces the Pallas Cat and Yellow-backed Duiker.

Pallas Cats, also known as Manul, are small wild cats from Central Asia that are highly adaptable and inhabit grassland to high-altitude mountainous areas. They are known known for the “grumpy” look on their faces as well as for their long fluffy fur suited for their natural habitats. The cats are categorized as a “near threatened” species and are part of a Species Survival Plan (SSP). Animals that are part of the SSP are preserved and bred in captivity. If their numbers in the wild drop too low, they can be replenished from the zoological breeding programs.

The Yellow-backed Duiker is a forest dwelling antelope that inhabits wooded areas in Central and Western Africa, ranging from Senegal to Western Uganda. Due to uncontrolled hunting and habitat loss, the Yellow-backed Duiker is also considered a near threatened species.

Additionally, educational programs run all season long. As described through Niabi Zoo’s mission statement, “Conserve. Educate. Preserve,” the zoo wishes that a trip provides both a joyful adventure and a hands-on learning experience that builds knowledge to take back to the classroom. That hands-on knowledge will engage students for days to come.

Niabi Zoo connects community, leadership, and educational experience while conserving and preserving the foundations of wildlife.  

So join the exploration and adventure on opening day! For more information, contact 309-799-3482 or visit their website. The zoo is open from 10 am-5 pm. Admission rates are as follows: $9 for adults, $8 for senior citizens, $6.50 for children ages 3-12, and free for children 2 and under. Parking is $3/per automobile. Niabi Zoo is located at 13010 Niabi Zoo Road in Coal Valley, Illinois.


About the author

Katy Williams Henderson A life-long Quad Cities resident, Katy is a Preschool through 4th Grade ESL Teacher at a local elementary school. She attended St. Ambrose University, graduating in May 2018 with a B.A. in Elementary Education with ESL and Reading concentrations and an English minor. She is working on a Master's in Early Childhood Education. She loves running, traveling, cooking, working with kids, spending time with her husband and her family and friends, education, and putting a pen to paper. Her writing credits include the Dispatch-Argus Newspaper, Radish Magazine, Midwest Writing Center and being a writing tutor at SAU and now for The Princeton Review's

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