Zoo Chronology; past to present.

1916
Spencer Penrose receives a bear as a gift, sparking his passion for collecting animals.

1926
Penrose begins relocating animals from his ranch and the Broadmoor Hotel to the present site of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

1937
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.

1938
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is incorporated as a nonprofit 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.

1942
Monkey and feline houses are constructed.

1950
The Cadillac-designed Mountaineer cog train replaces original 1938 model.

1951
Thundergod gift shop and restaurant is completed.

1953
Giraffe building is constructed.

1956
Bird and reptile house is built.

1957
Zoomobile replaces the 1937 Zoo Special miniature train (Featured in the photo at the top of this page.)

1960
Aquatics building is completed.

1965
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.

1966
Primate World, housing the great apes, opens.

1976
Birds of Prey is constructed.

1989
Master plan is developed for growth and modernization of the Zoo.

1990
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.

1991
Primate World renovated
Electric Safari introduced

1992
Tram introduced
WildNights initiated

1993
Naked Mole Rats
Hidden Prairie
Hummingbird Garden

1994
Wolf Woods opens with three Mexican gray wolves.
Riparian Garden

1995
Warthogs/Aardvark special exhibit

1996
Asian Highlands
Butterfly Garden

1997
Lion’s Lair

1998
Koala special exhibit
Colorado Habitat Tree, Party Pavilion and Safari Cabin constructed; Tot Train added; Colobus Café expanded.

1999
White Alligator special exhibit
Historic 1925 carousel renovated

2000
Giant Fruit Bats special exhibit
African Rift Valley project initiated

2001
White Tigers special exhibit
My Big Backyard
Animal Health Center

2002
Butterflies special exhibit
No Water Garden

2003
African Rift Valley
Komodo Dragon

2004
Colobus Monkeys
ZOOMobile refurbished

2005
White Lion special exhibit
Pony Rides

2006
Wallaby Walkabout

2007
Budgie Buddies

2008
Rocky Mountain Wild
Mountaineer Sky Ride

2009
Amphibian Rescue Project Partnership
Frog Awareness Exhibit

2010
Grizzly Grill Restaurant
Snow Leopard Exhibit

2011
Wilgruen Elephant Center
“Jambo” joins the African elephant herd

2012
The Scutes Family Gallery

2013
Encounter Africa
The Overlook

2014
The Loft
Rocky Mountain Goat Activity Yard

2015
Australia Walkabout

2016
Goat Playground

2017
Demolition and groundbreaking for new exhibit for hippos and African penguins

2018
Named 4th best AZA-accredited zoo in North America
Pizza with a View and Cozy Goat opened
Primate World exhibit improvements

2019
EdVenture and Membership Complex