Plains Biome: Bringing the Savannah to Indianapolis

The Indianapolis Zoo Plains Biome brings the dramatically sweeping savannahs of Africa to Indianapolis. This geographically authentic expanse also contains replicas of the grasslands in Australia and water areas that shelter great plains beasts such as elephants and rhinos.

Zoo visitors will feel transported into a safari-like atmosphere, whether walking the trail to view ostriches, vultures and zebras, or getting an up close glimpse of baboons, monkeys, and African lions in their own habitats. It’s the perfect place to delight Indianapolis kids with the wonders of nature.

Cross a pond on a wooden bridge and you might have a stork rise up from your feet. Take the kids to hand feed a giraffe. Walk through an aviary chock-full of colorful birds and exotic foliage. Cross a real-live rope suspension bridge to enter a big safari tent and watch rhinos happily wallowing below the visitors’ bird’s-eye elevated platform. There’s no shortage of unique things to do at the Indianapolis Zoo Plains Biome.

A video of Tombi the elephant at the Indianapolis Zoo Plains Biome in Indianapolis


The Indianapolis Zoo Plains Biome is big on animal-human interaction and provides many areas throughout the park for just this sort of activity. One of the favorites is the “Elephant Encounters” space where, in the summer, visitors can watch zookeepers bathe the elephants and listen to educational lectures about the endangered African elephant’s way of life. You might even see an elephant painting demonstration!

The Indianapolis Zoo works closely with the Species Survival Plan, an active and ubiquitous animal conservation and research program. The rhino inhabitants of the Zoo are currently part of a stringently monitored breeding program begun with the highly successful African elephant breeding program.

Many other species living throughout the park are also involved in this animal conservation program, including some of the plains animals like the African lions, the African wild dogs, the reticulated giraffes, Grant’s zebra, the Guinea baboon and the Addra gazelle, all of which roam free inside the Zoo’s expansive savannahs of the Plains Biome.

Over time, the Zoo’s research and breeding program will undoubtedly continue to produce other wondrous animals like Zoo-born baby elephant Kedar, and help preserve some of the endangered species of the world. Until then, this Indianapolis attraction may be one of the few places in the world where you can still see these creatures.

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

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

The Indianapolis Zoo
1200 W Washington St
Indianapolis, IN 46222


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