Potawatomi Zoo

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE Public Radio

The Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend cut the ribbon on a new front entrance over the weekend and just in time for reopening. 

The Potawatomi Zoo found a new way to let guests visit the animals while staying safe during the pandemic.

Potawatomi Zoo Postpones Season Opening Over Coronavirus

Mar 24, 2020
Curtesy Photo: Potawatomi Zoo


Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend announced Tuesday that it will not open for the season as planned on April third because of the coronavirus crisis. A postponed opening date has not been set.


With the Zoo largely closed to the public in the winter, there haven’t been any big changes yet. But with opening day coming up, Zoo officials decided to postpone it for now.


Potawatomi Zoo to Raise Money for Australian Wildlife

Jan 8, 2020
Rick Rycroft / AP Photo


The Potawatomi Zoo in South Bend is using its first winter day opening to raise money for wildlife rehabilitation in Australia.

Raging bushfires across Australia are devastating human settlements and also impacting wildlife and their habitats. One Australian ecologist estimates nearly half a billion animals have died in the state of New South Wales alone. 

Potawatomi Zoo director Josh Sisk said the wildlife cost of the fires won’t be fully known for a while.

17-Year-Old Lion At Potawatomi Zoo Dies

Nov 8, 2019
Potawatomi Zoo via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/PotawatomiZoo/posts/?ref=page_internal

The Potawatomi Zoo announced on Facebook Tuesday that Tango, an African lion, died. The post indicates that Tango would have been 18 on Dec. 12. 

The zoo says the median life expectancy for a male lion in human care is 16.9 years and in the wild it's 10-12 years. 

The zoo says Tango had been treated for "age-related issues for the past few months."  The post goes on to say Tango was "humanely euthanized" on Monday, Nov. 4 when his condition suddenly worsened. 

Annacaroline Caruso

Indiana Michigan Power gave a $216,000 grant for education to the Potawatomi Zoo. 

The grant money will create a STEM classroom on zoo grounds, provide scholarships, and hire more staff for the EdZOOcation program.

Former South Bend Zoo Chimp Now In Baltimore

May 15, 2019

BALTIMORE (AP) — A chimpanzee named Alex is the latest new attraction at Baltimore's zoo.

In a Tuesday statement, the Maryland Zoo announced that Alex has recently completed a month-long quarantine, a standard procedure when introducing a new animal. He was able to see and hear the other chimps in the zoo's "Chimpanzee Forest" exhibit during that time.

Lt. Governor Crouch Visits Potawatomi Zoo

Nov 28, 2018
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio


Indiana Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch took a tour of Potawatomi Zoo on Tuesday. The zoo recently started work on a project that is partially funded by a state grant.

The new entrance area is the first part of a multi-step renovation of Indiana’s oldest zoo. The three million dollar project is partially funded by a regional cities grant.

Marcy Dean is the zoo’s Executive Director.

Michiana Stories: Potawatomi Zoo

Aug 20, 2018
St. Joseph County Public Library

Joshua Sisk and Skye Hoffman of Potawatomi Zoo talk about the importance of wildlife encounters and their lifelong love of animals.

Michiana Stories can be heard Mondays at 7:45 during Morning Edition and at 4:45 during All Things Considered.

If you have a Michiana story to share, contact the St. Joseph County Public Library at 574.282.4646 or library@SJCPL.org

Michiana Stories is a production of the St. Joseph County Public Library and 88.1 WVPE.