“600+ animals on almost 100 acres”
The Dakota Zoo was founded in 1961 by Marc & Betty Christianson with the help of a host of dedicated volunteers. The Dakota Zoo opened its gates on June 3, 1961 on 15 acres of developed land, with 75 mammals and 23 birds, and 40,000 visitors passed through the gates that first year. Today, thanks to the continued support of members, visitors, donors and volunteers, the Dakota Zoo has grown to a 90 acre facility housing 600 animals, birds, reptiles and fish representing 125 species and visited by more than 130,000 people each year.
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