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Forests Biome and Common Areas

The Indianapolis Zoo Forests Biome and Commons Areas are animal-friendly habitats for tropical or temperate forest dwellers on the land or in the water. Meandering through this beautiful section of the Zoo, you are likely to spy gibbons and otters, lemurs and flamingos, tigers, red pandas and giant Kodiak bears, as well as many winged creatures, such as the American bald eagle, ravens and turkey vultures. You won’t find animals like this anywhere else in Indianapolis.

The forest areas of the earth continue to gradually shrink, and with them, the species that live in them and depend on them for survival. The Indianapolis Zoo operates aggressive programs for managed breeding and for the health monitoring of its population. As part of the worldwide Species Survival Plan, an animal conservation program, the Zoo tracks genealogy, maintains meticulous records and carries out research to improve the chances of the endangered creatures in their care.

A video of Elliot the white-handed gibbon singing in the Indianapolis Zoo’s Forests Biome in Indianapolis

The Indy Zoo has become well known for its successful breeding programs. Recently, for example, they’ve received acclaim for births inside the Zoo of several Amur tiger cubs, an extremely endangered animal.

A special exhibit inside the Forests Biome is the Asian small-clawed otter. These interesting little creatures are only two feet in length, the smallest otters in the world. Asian small-clawed otters come from China, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and the Philippines. The Zoo lets them catch and eat fish bred there just for them. Otters are one of the few species on the planet that mate for life, so these otters form their families inside the Zoo and stick to them. Their small size and precocious, almost human habits are sure to make them a hit with Indianapolis kids and adults alike.

Throughout every sector of the Zoo, visitors can enjoy a wide range of unusual plants and trees. Some of the foliage in the Forests Biome include the bottle brush buckeye, columbine, winterberry, maidenhair fern, vernal witch hazel, lace bark pine, sassafras, spice bush, the katsura tree and yellow-groove bamboo.

The wide variety of flora, fauna, and exhibits make the Forests Biome at the Indianapolis Zoo one of the most breathtaking Indianapolis attractions.

The Forests Biome isn’t the only unique environment at the Indianapolis Zoo. There are four other such exhibits: the Encounters Biome, the Deserts Biome, the Oceans Biome, and the Plains Biome. Visit them all to get the full Indianapolis Zoo experience!

For more information on the Forests Biome at the Indianapolis Zoo, please visit the zoo’s homepage.

The Indianapolis Zoo
1200 W Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46222
317.630.2001
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