RPZ goes from great zoo to community anchor

Minoters have always been fond of Roosevelt Park Zoo even when it wasn’t much to brag about.

Sometime in the past 90-plus years it became a good zoo and for years now, by most people’s standards, it’s been a great zoo.

But today. Today RPZ is much more — a community anchor, an institution Minoters can count on for education about wildlife, entertainment, a safe environment to just hang out, even a place that offers clever opportunities for kids and their parents to bond. One example of that is the overnight “camp outs” within the zoo grounds that sound like so much fun for young families.

Easter, Halloween, Christmas — the zoo staff has fun and creative programs for days and times when kids are looking for something to do. You can depend on that.

With the 2011 flood still in the rear-view mirror, RPZ has moved on to the point where patrons can visit several times a year and always see something new.

Granted, some of that newness comes, unfortunately, when animals on exhibit grow too old to keep or they die and are replaced. But there are ongoing, and we might add, successful plans in place to keep the zoo experience fresh, even for frequent visitors.

You might have noticed the recent news about the big cats at RPZ. Zoya, a female Amur tiger from the Oklahoma City Zoo, will be arriving at her new home at Roosevelt Park Zoo shortly, joining the zoo’s two Amur tigers — Viktor, a 7-year-old tiger, and Krapinka, a 19-year-old tiger. We look forward to the addition of Zoya. Tigers are such magnificent animals in the wild or on display. We should be proud that our zoo was chosen to accept Zoya.

Also new to the zoo is a baby giraffe. The male calf was born July 23, to the adult giraffes Kianga and Mashama. He is their eighth calf, said Jennifer Kleen, executive director of the Minot Zoo Crew.

The zoo is set to celebrate its first 100 years in 2021 so we suspect RPZ will become even more grand in the run up to that event. Good times are ahead for friends of the zoo.