Lincoln Park Zoo Celebrates 150 Years of Operation

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If you find yourself in downtown Chicago this summer, there’s no better way to spend a day or afternoon than walking around the Lincoln Park Zoo.

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This year marks the 150th anniversary of the zoo. In 1868, 2 pairs of swans were gifted to Lincoln Park from New York’s Central Park, and these swans were the beginning of one of America's oldest and still completely free zoos.

Lincoln Park Zoo became a key player in animal conservation in 1884 when the zoo was home to the first American Bison born in captivity. Although the species is no longer on display, in 1896 the U.S. Government purchased one bull and six cows from Lincoln Park Zoo to assist the bison’s revival in Yellowstone National Park.

 An aerial view of the zoo from a Verizon Wireless rooftop cellular site.

An aerial view of the zoo from a Verizon Wireless rooftop cellular site.

Today, many of the zoo’s original structures still stand, including the seal pool, the bird exhibit, and the lion house. Come celebrate 150 years of operation, and experience over 1,100 animals from more than 200 species that currently call the Lincoln Park Zoo home.