The Amarillo Zoo is going to be celebrating a big milestone in July. The Zoo is turning 65 years old and they are planning a full month of celebrations for visitors, zoo staff, and even the animals. From July 1 through July 31, the zoo will be open from 9:30am to 5:00pm with activities available each day on site and online.

If you are not already following the Amarillo Zoo on Facebook, you need to go like their page right now. That is where they will be posting the schedule of special enrichment activities they will be doing with the zoo's residents. A different animal will enjoy special birthday enrichment activities each day of the month. Throughout the zoo grounds, there will be special exhibit signs taking visitors on an historical look at the Amarillo Zoo. The community will also be able to sign a special birthday card for the Amarillo Zoo.

The event will coincide with National Zoo Keeper Week, dedicated to sharing the passion and devotion of zookeepers.

“This is a big milestone for the Amarillo Zoo, the animals and staff as well as for our city,” said Visitor Services Specialist for the Amarillo Zoo Kayla Sell. “Many people in our community have grown up with the Amarillo Zoo and its animals. We look forward to celebrating the past 65 years, but we are also excited about sharing new ways the community can help impact the future for the Amarillo Zoo.”

The idea for a zoo in Amarillo started in 1955, when a duck pond was built in Thompson Park. In 1957, barnyard exhibits were added utilizing a storybook theme. The name and theme was “Children's Story Land Zoo." In 1989 the land area was expanded to 14 acres. The theme and name changed at that point to Amarillo Zoo. Nowadays, the Amarillo Zoo attracts more than 200,000 visitors each year.