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Thanks to the generous support of individuals and businesses, the Great Plains Zoo continues to offer exciting new exhibits, quality educational programs, and an unparalleled setting for recreation and discovery. There are several ways you can support the Great Plains Zoo. Click on a link below to learn more. 

•    New Lion Exhibit
•    “Zoo for All” Program
•    Corporate Sponsorships
•    Animal Care and Education Programs
•    Planned Giving
•    Conservation Fund

You can also donate by purchasing items off our Amazon Wish List, helping us to cut costs! 

Amazon Wish List

New Lion Exhibit

The Great Plains Zoo is working to bring the roar of Lions back to Sioux Falls! The “Building Our Community Pride” capital campaign is currently underway, with a goal of raising $5 million to create a vibrant habitat for as many as 10 Lions, develop a Big Cat breeding center, and renovate the Maasai Market Café with expanded seating capacity to meet growing attendance. Click here to learn more about the “Building Our Community Pride” campaign.

Zoo for All

The Great Plains Zoo's "Zoo for All" program each year gives thousands of socially or economically challenged individuals an opportunity to make a unique connection to the world around them. The need-based program provides free admission tickets to kids and families who are unable to afford a trip to the Zoo.

“Zoo for All” helps more than 1,000 individuals each year, but the need often outweighs the funding available. Here are some examples of how a gift to “Zoo for All” can help families who need it most.

•    Support our free, weekly "Bookworms" Reading Program for a year ($2,500 gift)
•    Give free Zoo admission to 23 families of four ($1,000 gift)
•    Give a full day of ZooMobile programs to a poverty level school ($500 gift)
•    Support six families of four to come visit the Zoo ($250 gift)
•    Allow four children to attend summer ZooCamp ($100 gift)
•    Connect a family of five to an amazing Zoo experience ($50 gift)

Corporate and Business Memberships

As a corporate and business member, your support helps support the Zoo while also showing a commitment to education, conservation, recreation and discovery, and quality of life in the community we call home. Your membership helps us engage more than 300,000 annual visitors, educate 40,000 area children, care for more than 1,000 animals, and work as a key player in 43 Species Survival Plans. For more information, please call 605.367.8313, or email our Development Department.

Operating Budget

Each year, the Great Plains Zoo spends approximately $200,000 on food for the 1,000 animals in our care. Lights and heat for the animals cost an additional $200,000. A gift to the Zoo’s general fund helps us continue to provide our animals with the best care possible, and supports our mission of education, conservation, recreation and discovery -- a mission supported by a $4.9 million budget. For more information, please call 605.367.8313, or email our Development Department. 

Planned Giving

Planned gifts to the Great Plains Zoo help ensure future generations have an opportunity to make connections to the natural world and see animals they might otherwise only see in a textbook.  

Planned giving opportunities at the Zoo include a donation of stocks/securities to the Zoo, or making a bequest to the Zoological Society of Sioux Falls in wills, trusts, retirement plans and insurance policies.  

The Great Plains Zoo would be happy to work with you and your advisor to help determine the most appropriate way for you to give while achieving your goals.

The Zoological Society of Sioux Falls does not offer tax or financial planning advice. Please contact your financial planning professional or estate planning attorney for advice on planned giving.

Conservation Fund

The Great Plains Zoo is a key player in 43 Species Survival Plans including Amur Tigers, Eastern Black Rhinoceros and Siamang Gibbons. Important work is being done right here in Sioux Falls, S.D., in order to create healthy populations of these precious animals worldwide. The Zoo also supports the work of global conservation efforts worldwide including the International Rhino Foundation, the Snow Leopard Trust, and others.     

In addition to caring for more than 1,000 animals, the Great Plains Zoo serves as a regional rehabilitation facility for raptors and other native wildlife. In this role, the Zoo actively rehabilitates wild birds that are injured and sick for re-release into the wild. These wild birds have included Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles, Red-Tailed Hawks, Harlan’s Hawks, Great Horned Owls, Snowy Owls, and many other species.  

A gift to our Conservation Fund helps make these important conservation efforts possible. Your gift can be designated for one or all of these projects.  For more information, please call 605.367.8313, or email our Development Department.



  • Love this zoo! Great place to get a walk in and the animals are everywhere! The museum/indoor part is very educational too. Has a lot of shade for when it's hot out. Very clean. Friendly staff.

    Taylor F.
  • We love to visit the zoo. They have great outdoor exhibits and lots to do inside as well. Great for kids and adults.

    Robin A.
  • Lots of great exhibits and animals to see! Fun gift shop and learning center.

    Stephanie N.
  • The museum gives you a break from the sun on hot summer days and has a great selection of animal exhibits from around the world. ¬†The zoo keeps growing and adding new animal habitats or improving existing ones. ¬†Membership offers reciprocal benefits to other zoos around the country.

    Bill T.