Zoo taking a big step forward in “Species Survival” – and chimpanzees too

The fact that the Indianapolis Zoo will soon open a new Welcome Center is certainly old news to anyone who has visited during the enduring construction season. But what will accompany the new Welcome Center is only now coming into focus:

The Global Center for Species Survival – and a new International Chimpanzee Complex which will not only help greet visitors but also feature elevated walkways to allow the chimpanzees access to much of the zoo property.

The guest Welcome Center entry experience and Global Center for Species Survival will open to the public on Memorial Day weekend 2023. The International Chimpanzee Complex will debut the following Memorial Day weekend 2024.

The major zoo reimagining will be financed by a $53 million capital investment which entered its public phase last week. To date, 60 percent of the goal for The Campaign for Our Zoo, Our Community, Our World, has been reached.

Zoo leaders said the campaign will put the Indianapolis Zoo at the very center of local, national, and international conservation strategy through the Global Center for Species Survival, a first-of-its-kind partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Species Survival Commission, the world’s premiere organization focused on species survival. The Global Center operates as a sort of mission control as it supports and connects thousands of conservation experts worldwide working to secure a future for animals, fungi, and plants. The campaign also advances chimpanzee care with a groundbreaking environment that will cover a large portion of the Zoo’s footprint that fully engages visitors and allows them to make a personal connection with chimpanzees.

“The Indianapolis community has enthusiastically embraced our campaign, and we are deeply appreciative,” said Dr. Rob Shumaker, Zoo president and CEO. “Our ability to protect nature and inspire people to care for our world is being transformed and the impact will be felt locally, nationally, and internationally. We are privileged to be part of this important work.”

RENDERING ABOVE: The International Chimpanzee Complex will be one of the first experiences zoo-goers see when they visit after it opens on Memorial Day weekend 2024.