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The zoo's name "Niabi" comes from the Native American language of the Wazhazhe (Osage Nation) and means "the fawn spared by the hunter." 

Niabi Zoo opened on May 4, 1963, to the public.

228 Acres of Forest Preserve and 40 Acres dedicated to the Zoo!

First as a private venue on the farm property owned by Gordon & Shirley McClain it became a public venue when Mrs. Charles Deere Wiman purchased the property and deeded it to Rock Island County becoming the first Preserve system in the county. Gordon McClain was hired by the board as the Director of Niabi Zoo.

Celebrating 60 Years

The Niabi Zoo Foundation was established in June of 2020 to provide support for


We are a nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization.

EIN ID #85-0713063

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