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Zoo Operations & Guest Services
Zoo Operations & Guest Services
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When was Sunset Zoo founded? Why is it called Sunset Zoo?
In 1929 the City of Manhattan purchased a tract of land called Sunset Cemetery. Portions of this land were deemed unusable because the soil was too rocky for cemetery plots and this area became Sunset Zoo. The zoo was not chartered as a park until 1934, however we know there were animals here in 1930. Because of the discrepancies, Sunset Zoo maintains a founding year of 1933.
Will the zoo be expanding or adding soon?
In 2012, the Zoo opened the first phase of the John Woodard Memorial Gibbons Exhibit and the Nature Exploration Center, an entryway and education facility. In 2013, with the help of Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, the Zoo renovated and expanded an on-grounds veterinary clinic. Finally, in 2014, the Zoo opened the second phase of the gibbons exhibit, revitalizing a historic limestone exhibit and guest viewing plaza. The next few years also look bright as plans to renovate major portions of the Asian trail are underway! Learn more about
Why is there a house in the middle of the zoo?
A member of the zoo staff lives in the house to provide 24-hour security at the zoo, which is a requirement of our Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accreditation. When admission to the zoo was free, the house was used by the zoo superintendent. It was not uncommon for guests to peer into the windows in search of wild animals.
Why are there no animal exhibits in the Nature Exploration Center? What is that building?
The Nature Exploration Center is our new education facility. Educating our community about animals and getting folks excited about nature is extremely important to us. Before we built this facility, we were very limited in what we could do. The Center dramatically expands and enhances our offerings. We do house our education animal collection behind the scenes in the facility. Thanks to the support of Little Apple Veterinary Hospital, we have three octaviewers where we regularly rotate education animals out on exhibit for the public
Can I rent Sunset Zoo facilities for an event?
Yes. The zoo offers a variety of both indoor and outdoor spaces perfect for birthday parties, weddings, corporate events, and community meetings. Visit our
page for more information.
Are there ways to volunteer at the zoo?
We offer several volunteer opportunities for teens and adults. Visit the Sunset Zoo's website to complete an online volunteer application and a zoo staff member will be in touch. For more information, visit the
I want to work at a zoo. What should I do to prepare for this job?
There are a variety of opportunities in the zoo community. Positions are available in animal management, animal husbandry, education, conservation, and marketing to name a few. To learn more about these careers, visit the Association of Zoos and Aquariums'
. Also, you can
at your local zoo, the opportunities are endless and the experience will be invaluable in your job search.
What does a membership to the zoo cost?
Membership to Sunset Zoo is a great value! A year-round membership through the Friends of Sunset Zoo includes free zoo admission for a year plus discounted admission to over 150 zoos around the United States. There are many other great benefits and a variety of membership levels depending on your needs. Additionally, membership dollars provide crucial support to the zoo in the areas of animal care, conservation, and professional development for staff. Visit the
to learn more.
Booth & Donation Request Forms
Sunset Zoo Master Plan
Behind the Science Programs
Join Our Team
Future Zoo Projects
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