Throwback Thursday: Bighorn Sheep on the Rock Island

  Potter Park’s rock island was built in 1936 under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) –a program instituted by President Franklin Roosevelts to create work and lift the country out of its Depression. Many animals would occupy this space over the years, including a variety of monkey species which summered on the island and wintered […]

Throwback Thursday: Pumpkinfest

Do you ever wonder what would happen if you gave a pumpkin to a porcupine? Or an otter? How about a rhinoceros? For fifteen years, as part of a special enrichment event known as Pumpkinfest, the volunteer Enrichment Team at Potter Park Zoo has done just this! Pumpkinfest is just one of many opportunities we […]

Throwback Thursday: Lake Victoria Exhibit

  In 2000, Potter Park Zoo opened a four-building entrance complex, replacing the old cabin and concession stand. The new entryway included an admission booth, visitor amenities (gift shop, restaurant, restrooms), and zoo offices. Last but not least was the Discovery Center, serving as the new home of the education department. Inside the building were […]

Throwback Thursday: Rabbit (and Guinea Pig) Hill

The 1960s were a difficult period in Potter Park Zoo’s history. Although the mammal moats opened behind the Bird House in 1961 and the old 1920-era bear pits next to the animal house (current zookeepers’ lounge) were razed, other buildings were aging, and the zoo lacked funds to make the necessary repairs. In spite of […]

Potter Park Zoo Recognizes Autism Acceptance Month

Through special programs, staff and volunteer training, and tools to assist zoo guests, Potter Park Zoo strives to provide a safe and welcoming experience to those with special needs and unique challenges, and will celebrate April as Autism Acceptance Month. “The zoo offers a monthly program, FALCONERS, for those with special needs and unique challenges,” […]

Throwback Thursday: Teen Zookeepers

Potter Park Zoo has offered a volunteer teen zookeeper program for over 30 years, providing hands-on opportunities for youth to explore the world of work at the zoo, and acquire knowledge and skills to prepare them for future employment.  The summer program began in the late 1980s, and was a joint effort between Potter Park’s […]

Become a Citizen Scientist: 2021 FrogWatch Training Sessions at Potter Park Zoo

Amphibians are some of the most threatened animals on the planet and the anurans (frogs and toads) represent roughly 90 percent of all amphibian species. They serve an important role in the ecosystem as indicators of environmental health. Their sensitivity to environmental changes has sparked efforts to understand the causes and geographic distribution of their […]

Throwback Thursday: Bald Eagles at the Zoo

The bald eagle exhibit at Potter Park gives a nod to our National Bird, and helps us share this species’ remarkable conservation success story. Fifty years ago, eagle populations had plummeted from the contamination of their food chain by the pesticide DDT. The federal government banned its use in 1972, and the Endangered Species Act […]

Potter Park Zoo Veterinary Department and Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine (MSU CVM): 50 years of collaboration honored with Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Research. 

Spanning 50 years, the partnership between MSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Potter Park Zoo is special. This relationship was honored recently with the Distinguished Partnership Award for Community-Engaged Research. Dr. Dalen Agnew, a pathologist with expertise in zoo animals and chair of MSU Department of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, is a strong proponent of […]