A wallaby hopping across an open field, the spider monkeys moving gracefully from tree to tree, and the okapi enjoying a delicious helping of leaves. The roar of the lions, splashing of the river otters, and laughing of the kookaburra. Be sure to experience all the sights and sounds at Indiana’s first zoo, the Potawatomi Zoo.
The Potawatomi Zoo is home to over 500 animals. No matter if it is one of the hottest days of summer or if there is a cool chill in the air, the Potawatomi Zoo is always a great place to go with family and friends.
Start your visit with a trip to the Amur Tigers. These beautiful cats have a pale orange coloring to them with brown (not black) stripes. When you walk by you may see them cooling off in the pool — the Amur Tigers love water! These massive animals are strong too and can overpower something twice their size.
Did You Know? The Amur Tigers have claws that are more than three inches long and are also retractile.
After the tigers, walk on over to the African Lions. The lion is the king of the jungle and the African Lion is the king of the zoo. They have excellent eyesight, a good sense of smell, and phenomenal hearing. Male lions can weigh up to 550 pounds and females can weigh up to 400 pounds. Despite their weight, they have quick reflexes and can reach speeds of 36 miles per hour. When these lions roar, you can hear them from wherever you are in the zoo. They usually roar to let the other lions know where they are.
Did You Know? The African Lions eat a lot! Males require 15 pounds of meat daily and the females need 11 pounds daily.
Your trip to the zoo isn’t complete without saying hello to two of its newest members, Will and Corky—the Okapi. This incredibly rare species is now at the Potawatomi Zoo! Their white-and-black striped hindquarters and front legs would make you think they are closely related to a zebra. However, that is not the case; they are actually related to a giraffe.
One look at Will or Corky’s face and it is easy to see the resemblance. Their very large, upright ears are similar to that of the giraffe as is their large, dark, prehensile tongue. The Okapi uses its tongue to help it strip the leaves and buds from brush and trees for food just as a giraffe does. The Potawatomi Zoo is the only zoo in Indiana and Michigan that features an Okapi.
Did You Know? The Okapi’s tongue ranges from 14 – 18 inches in length.
While You Are Here… Be sure to visit the farm area of the zoo where you can feed goats and alpacas. Watch the North American River Otter swim gracefully under water. And listen to the Yellow Crested Cockatoo talk to you and let you know that it is a pretty bird.
The zoo train will help you see the many species of animals on site and, before you leave, take a ride on the hand-crafted and hand-painted Endangered Species Carousel. Cap off your trip to the zoo as you ride one of the 18 unique animals including a zebra, lion, leopard, and tortoise.
If you want to learn more about the animals you will see at the zoo, be sure to go to the Potawatomi Zoo’s website.