Fort Wayne Children's Zoo Home

What We Do at the Zoo While We Miss You

Have you ever wondered what goes on at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo during the off-season? Besides missing the laughs and squeals of joy heard during the season, employees are hard at work completing different tasks to get the Zoo ready for the upcoming season! While each department has their fair share of tasks, here are just a couple that you may notice during your next visit here.

Coral Moving Crew

Cleaning Shark Exhibit Corals

Every season before the Zoo opens in April, the large pieces of coral in the shark exhibit are lifted out of the water, cleaned by the Zoo’s Aquatics team, and then moved back into the water. Team members across multiple departments band together to get these large corals in and out of the shark exhibit. We do this to ensure that the shark exhibit corals look guest ready, as well as providing the sharks and the grouper in this exhibit with a clean and healthy environment.

Firehose Vines

Replacing Firehose Vines

The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo receives donated firehoses from various organizations, including Fort Wayne Fire Department, the New Haven Fire Department, and the Muncie Fire Department. This retired firehose is used as enrichment for various animals in our care and is especially a favorite for the Sumatran orangutans. In the orangutan exhibit, guests will find recycled firehose vines dangling and connecting trees, which encourages natural behaviors by simulating the vines that a wild orangutan might use in Sumatra to get from one tree to the next. These firehose vines must be replaced regularly and often happens during the off-season.

East Allen Career Center

Partnering with Local Students

During the off-season this year, the Zoo teamed up with the East Allen Career Center and their precision machining students, who fabricated special parts for the Z.O.&O. Railroad that are no longer available for purchase. Through this partnership, not only do students gain real-world precision machining experience, but the Zoo is able to continue offering guests fun experiences like the Z.O.&O. Railroad that requires maintenance and specialized parts.