Isaac, a young animal enthusiast, noticed something unusual at Binder Park Zoo last week.

“They’re starting a family!” he told his parents.

The zoo’s two marabou storks had laid an egg and were busy adding more brush to the nest and protecting it from the sun.

According to the zookeepers, there hasn’t been a stork egg at Binder for 20 years. The dad stork had been practicing for this big moment by sitting on rocks.

Isaac’s parents, who probably didn’t sit on rocks before he was born, have known Binder Park all of their lives. But with each visit, they said, it never gets old. Every trip to the zoo is a unique experience.

It’s not just enriching for the kids, either. When you watch the animals at Binder Park Zoo, they are watching you.

It’s been a while since they’ve had a chance to see new people walking by, but the zoo is now open for 2020.

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You can:

  • Feed giraffes at the Twiga Overlook. Make sure you bring a mask.
  • Tell the zebras to stop chasing all of the other animals on the savannah.
  • Get a family photo in front of the giant bear statue, then check out the family of three black bears from Alaska. 
  • Stick your tongue out at Tushar, the red panda -- he’s a little cranky and likes to do the same.
  • Pay a visit to Al, the 550-pound tortoise, at his house. You’ll probably find him in the yard, eating clover. It’s his first time in the grass after two years of recovering from a foot infection.
  • Watch as 11 painted dog siblings learn how to become a pack. Like most teenagers, it involves a lot of eating and running around.

The zoo is spread out across a shady park, creating natural areas for animals and humans alike.

With so much space, it’s easier to social distance. Binder is making it less difficult, too, with additions such as partitions at Twiga Overlook and alternating seating on the Wilderness Tram.

You don’t have to bring kids for a guaranteed good time at the zoo, either. It’s a great spot for a date, or to get your steps in for the day. 

Some people get a membership just so they have a nice place to exercise. Skip the tram, for instance, and it’s a half-mile walk through the woods to Wild Africa where there’s a long path that takes you by giraffes, lions, monkeys and more. 

After a few visits, the membership pays for itself. So this could be the summer to finally test out a zoo membership, like you’ve always been meaning to. No need to travel far to have a great adventure.

Binder Park Zoo is part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Reciprocal program, so a membership with Binder will get you discounted or free rates at 150 other zoos and aquariums. You’ll also be contributing to their mission for wildlife conservation.
Please read the updated safety information before visiting. You can find it here