The Indianapolis Zoo


A seal and its instructor practice tricks.

Susanna Gates, MVC Writer and Photographer

The last time I went to the Indianapolis Zoo was several years ago. I was eager to get back to the zoo to see what has changed since I was a kid, and what has stayed the same. I have grown up going to the Indianapolis Zoo, and have shared many great memories with friends and family there. Recently, I took a trip back to these grounds to experience the memories of childhood again with their long-lasting exhibits and to see how I felt about the changes the Indianapolis Zoo has made over the years.

A clownfish swimming through its home, a sea anemone.
A variety of fish swims together in the Oceans Exhibit.
Two giraffes walk along the trees.
Playful meerkats scurry around in the Deserts Dome.
A Gila monster lizard crawls under a log in its terrarium.
An African elephant strolls in the Plains exhibit.
A seal and its instructor practice tricks.
A stingray swims through the Shark Touch Tank.
A tiger roams its habitat in the Plains Exhibit.
A rhino wades in some water.

I was most enthralled by the new kangaroo exhibit at the zoo. This exhibit allows guests to walk alongside multiple adolescent kangaroos. There are no fences or even ropes keeping guests from the animals. It is as if visitors are seeing them in the wild, it would be so easy to just reach out and touch one! In fact, the zoo allows visitors to touch and interact with the kangaroos as long as they abide by the rules. Visitors cannot touch the kangaroos if they are not within touching distance by the path. There are many workers standing by in the exhibit to make sure the rules are followed. The kangaroos are kept in the exhibit by the walls of a high wooden fence, but other than that, there are no cages keeping guests from these spunky animals.
Along with the kangaroo exhibit, the zoo is also adding to its butterfly garden. Sadly, construction was ongoing when I visited the zoo, but it is estimated to be finished in the spring of 2023. I am looking forward to seeing what exciting new elements the garden will have.
The classics, like the Oceans exhibit, remain prominent at the zoo. The Oceans exhibit draws many people in because of the interactions with animals that it allows. Guests are able to touch stingrays and sharks in the touch pool.
Another timeless classic is the Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center, which allows the zoo to research the cognitive ability of these complex creatures. The Orangutan Center holds one of the largest groups of orangutans in any zoo in America.
As a teen who has grown up going to the Indianapolis Zoo with family and friends, I think it is a great place to go for family-friendly fun. It allows children and adults to interact together and see the world’s wonderful wildlife.
However, tickets and food can be a little pricey. Adult admission to the park is $32, on top of the $10 parking fee. This could make it out of budget for the average high school student.
But, where else do people get to see orangutans and dolphins within a couple of yards of each other? So hop on over to see kangaroos and other wildlife from across the globe right here in Indiana at the Indianapolis Zoo.