by Jessica Waytenick •

Address: 13010 Niabi Zoo Rd. in Coal Valley, Illinois (15 minutes from the metro Quad Cities)
Phone: 309-799-5107
Web Site:
Hours: Open Daily 9:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., including holidays

Admission: $7.25 adults; $6.50 seniors; $5.75 kids 3-12.  Half-price admission every Tuesday.

Media Contact: Marc Heinzman, 309-799-5107 or

What's New:

  • Niabi Zoo has a new elephant outdoor enclosure that three times the size of the previous enclosure.  Niabi is also starting work on a new $2 million lion enclosure. It will be twice the size of the current one, and include a new large classroom building where private events can be held.

Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my, are right here in the Quad Cities! Niabi Zoo is home to more than 900 animals representing 160 different species. The zoo grounds cover over 40 acres, with an additional 200 acres is set aside for native flora and fauna preservation. Approximately 240,000 people visit the zoo each year. In the 2013, Niabo Zoo is celebrating its 50th season!

Large cats, two Asian elephants, monkeys, birds, and reptiles are some of the animals that visitors can enjoy, along with a petting zoo and Koi pond that offer an interactive experience. Children of all ages will want to ride the Mel McKay Express replica train and Endangered Species Carrousel.  The zoo also features playgrounds, picnic areas, and stroller and wheelchair rentals. A gift shop and concession stand are also available.

The Lorikeet Landing exhibit opened in the spring of 2006 and allows visitors to hand feed cups of nectar to colorful Australian birds. This exhibit is part of the Australian Walk-About where visitors can stroll the path among free-roaming wallabies and emu. An African Primate exhibit featuring black and white Colobus monkeys opened in the fall of 2006. Passport to Africa opened in 2007 as a new home for giraffes, lions, zebras, and ostrich. A tall platform allows visitors to watch these towering creatures being fed.

The new, indoor Jungle Trek exhibit features an approximately 25-foot-long replica of a rain forest walkway, surrounded by tall trees, plants, greenery and flowers native to rain forests; embedded terrariums; a mini waterfall; and other items. Surrounding the rain forest are four touch-screen, interactive computers, showing picture slideshows, rain forest facts and games.

Animals from Niabi Zoo have been on Good Morning America and the Late Show with David Letterman in segments with Jack Hanna.

Niabi Zoo is normally open from March through early December. Many programs are offered, including Safari Sleepovers, Breakfast with the Giraffes, preschool classes, and outreach education. Special events, such as the Kids' Wild Festival, Elephants' Birthday Party, Zoofari Ball, and Boo at the Zoo, are scheduled throughout the season.

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