The Delbridge Museum of Natural History is home to a one-in-the-world collection of 150 mounted animals. The majority of the mounts originally belonged to Henry Brockhouse, a Sioux Falls businessman who hunted extensively in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. He displayed part of his collection in his Sioux Falls hardware store for many years. People in the Sioux Falls area recall with nostalgia memories of seeing tigers and bears alongside nuts and bolts in his store. In 1978, Mr. Brockhouse passed away, and several years later, his hardware store closed. At that point, the collection was put up for sale. In 1981, the C.J. Delbridge family purchased the collection in its entirety and donated it to the City of Sioux Falls with the condition that a proper building would be constructed to house it. It was decided that the Delbridge Museum of Natural History would become part of the Great Plains Zoo to enhance the recreational and educational value of both facilities.
All of the Museum specimens collected by Mr. Brockhouse were legally hunted at the time. Now, many of these species are deeply endangered. Approximately 150 mounts from six continents are currently on display and are grouped geographically and by habitat. Information and signage throughout the Museum focus on how different animals are adapted to their particular environments and on their current status in the wild. Today, 38 of the specimens are “vanishing species” and are invaluable as an educational resource.
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.