Zoo Chronology; past to present.
Spencer Penrose receives a bear as a gift, sparking his passion for collecting animals.
Penrose begins relocating animals from his ranch and the Broadmoor Hotel to the present site of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun is dedicated.
A miniature railroad, The Zoo Special, transports visitors from the Zoo tollgate to the top of the park.
Penrose purchases a carousel for the Zoo at the Chicago World’s Fair, which is still in operation today.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is incorporated as a non-profit public trust for the citizens of Colorado Springs by Penrose.
The Mountaineer narrow gauge cog railroad begins operation between the Broadmoor Hotel and the Zoo.
Monkey and feline houses are constructed.
The Cadillac-designed Mountaineer cog train replaces original 1938 model.
Thundergod gift shop and restaurant is completed.
Giraffe building is constructed.
Bird and reptile house is built.
Zoomobile replaces the 1937 Zoo Special miniature train (Featured in the photo at the top of this page.)
Aquatics building is completed.
A major flood causes a wall of water to roar down the mountainside demolishing the nearly completed new primate building. The Zoo closes for one day for the first time in its history.
Primate World, housing the great apes, opens.
Birds of Prey is constructed.
Master plan is developed for growth and modernization of the Zoo.
New Entry Plaza, Mountain Outfitters and Rocky Cliff exhibit are dedicated as part of a $12.5 million upgrade.
The Conservation Center, built to house breeding programs for endangered species, is completed.
Naked Mole Rats
Wolf Woods opens with three Mexican gray wolves.
Warthogs/Aardvark special exhibit
Koala special exhibit
Colorado Habitat Tree, Party Pavilion and Safari Cabin constructed; Tot Train added; Colobus Café expanded.
White Alligator special exhibit
Historic 1925 carousel renovated
Giant Fruit Bats special exhibit
African Rift Valley project initiated
White Tigers special exhibit
My Big Backyard
Animal Health Center
Butterflies special exhibit
No Water Garden
African Rift Valley
White Lion special exhibit
Amphibian Rescue Project Partnership
Frog Awareness Exhibit
Grizzly Grill Restaurant
Snow Leopard Exhibit
Wilgruen Elephant Center
“Jambo” joins the African elephant herd
Named #6 Zoo in the United States, #16 in the world by Trip Advisor
Named 6th best AZA-accredited zoo in North America by USA TODAY 10Best’s Readers Choice Awards
Named #6 Best Zoo in North America by USA TODAY 10Best’s Readers Choice Awards
Named #5 Best Zoo Exhibit (Rocky Mountain Wild) in North America by USA TODAY 10Best’s Readers Choice Awards
Electric Safari was voted 3rd Best Zoo Lights in the U.S. in 2019 by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards
EdVenture and Membership Complex
Named #4 Best Zoo in North America by USA TODAY 10Best’s Readers Choice Awards
Named #2 Best Zoo Exhibit (Rocky Mountain Wild) in North America by USA TODAY 10Best’s Readers Choice Awards
Water’s Edge: Africa
Named #4 Best Zoo in North America by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards
Named #3 Best Zoo Exhibit (Rocky Mountain Wild) in North America by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards