Niabi Zoo

Debut of the Pallas Cat

Apr 13, 2018
Niabi Zoo

Two new species will make their debut this weekend when the Niabi Zoo opens for the season - the Pallas Cat  and Yellow-backed Duiker.

Residents of Rock Island County can help the Forest Preserve District plan for the future. Thursday night it will hold the first of two public meetings to update its master plan.

Quad City Botanical Center / Facebook

Several local tourist attractions are offering package membership deals for the second year. The Quad City Botanical Center, Putnam Museum, and Niabi Zoo call the special deal a Fun Bundle.

On Midwest Week, who runs the Niabi Zoo now, and how that might change in the future.

Credit Niabi Zoo

A curator from the Smithsonian National Zoo is leaving Washington D.C. to manage the zoo in the Quad Cities. After a national search, Lee Jackson has been named the new Director of the Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley. 

Credit Niabi Zoo

One week after saying goodbye to a jaguar, the local zoo is preparing to lose another one of its big cats. This week, Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley announced the 21-year-old African lion, Mufasa, is in poor health.

Interim Zoo Director, Dan Meates, says Mufasa was born and raised at Niabi, and has already out-lived his life expectancy by 5 years. The lion has kidney failure and vision loss, and zoo staff are monitoring his health closely.

Niabi Zoo Director Search

Mar 21, 2016
Niabi Zoo

The Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley may soon have a new director. After receiving applications from across the country, the Niabi Zoo Oversight Committee has interviewed five finalists. 

Credit Niabi Zoo

Some monkeys, lions, and snow leopards need financial help. A new group of community leaders, called the Niabi Zoo Oversight Committee, will try to improve operations at the zoo in Coal Valley. 

Rock Island County Forest Preserve

After two studies, management of the Niabi Zoo may change. Tomorrow, the Rock Island County Forest Preserve Committee will consider a resolution to put private managers in charge of the zoo in Coal Valley, instead of the county board.

The resolution calls for a committee to form a public-private partnership. Rock Island County would still own the zoo, but an independent board of directors would oversee a non-profit organization in charge of zoo operations.

Last week, a consultant hired by the Forest Preserve Commission released a report, which largely agreed with a previous study commissioned by the Niabi Zoological Society. Both reports found the zoo is not raising enough money, but that could improve with a switch to private management. 

Niabi Zoo

Visitors can now help choose a name for Niabi Zoo's newest Colobus monkey. The baby was born a month ago, and people can use their pocket change to cast a vote for three different names.

Director of the zoo in Coal Valley, Marc Heinzman, says the name with the highest dollar amount will win. And all proceeds will go towards "ongoing improvements" to exhibits and facilities.