What began in a small downtown park in Montgomery, Alabama has now grown, expanded and become a premiere American zoological facility. The Montgomery Zoo started with humble beginnings as a small children’s zoo as a part of a local community park in the 1920s. While at Oak Park, the zoo housed alligators, monkeys, bears and assorted other animals. There was a small train and carousel for the children.
As the years passed and dreams grew, in 1972 the Montgomery Zoo relocated to the quickly expanding north section of town, and still its current location. The Zoo began with six acres, a small petting zoo for the children, assorted monkeys, a flight cage designed after the 1906 St. Louis World’s Fair and chimpanzee named Benji.
In 1976, the Montgomery Zoo hosted its first fundraising event entitled Zoo Day. This initial event grew to become an annual event and even take on a new name: Zoo Weekend. Today, an average Zoo Weekend will play host to over 18,000 guests. In 1989, ground-breaking took place expanding the Zoo to 40 acres. After two years of hard labor, the community welcomed a new Zoo in 1991. Barrier-free and multi-species exhibits highlighted the expansion, as well as, the Zoo being divided into five continental realms: Africa, Australia, Asia, North America and South America.