Niabi Zoo Opens This Weekend

Apr 9, 2021

Monkeys, bird, snakes, and other animals are ready to greet visitors this weekend. The Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley will open for the season - for members on Saturday and for the general public on Sunday.

Director Lee Jackson says due to state guidelines the zoo can only host up to 500 people at a time.

"Our zoo is open from 9 to 3, and you can buy two blocks of tickets. So the morning block is from 9 to 12 with last entry at 11, and the afternoon block is from 12 to 3 with your last entry at 2 o'clock."

Tickets can only be bought online (niabizoo.com). Masks are required, handwashing stations have been set around the zoo, and visitors are asked to socially distance themselves from others.

a beaded lizard
Credit By TimVickers - Own work, Public Domain, Wikipedia

New this year are Crocodile Monitors from the rain forest of New Guinea, and the zoo's first ever venomous animals - Beaded Lizards.

"Beaded lizards you would run into if you are in the dry forest of north and central Mexico, and they get up to, some big animals can get over 40 inches long, but our guys are more like 24 inches."

They belong to the same family as Gila monsters.

Jackson says the much anticipated White Rhinos are expected to arrive in a few weeks.