Zoo supporters change name to Minot Zoo Crew

A group of passionate supporters of the Roosevelt Park Zoo unveiled its new brand identity on Tuesday.

The Minot Zoo Crew showcased its new logo and talked about the history of the organization, along with the vision for the future of one of Minot’s top attractions.

“We are happy to see the zoo back and are so excited for what lies ahead for our favorite zoo,” said Becky Dewitz, Minot Zoo Crew development director.

She also discussed the role of the Minot Zoo Crew and provided an overview of the organization’s history.

The non-profit charitable organization, formerly known as the Greater Minot Zoological Society, came together in the 1970s. The group has been and continues to be dedicated to supporting Roosevelt Park Zoo’s efforts to provide a quality zoological park for enjoyment and education of its visitors through educational programs and displays, conservation awareness, promotion and fundraising.

The Minot Zoo Crew has ideas for new exhibits, with architectural renderings under way. A new red panda exhibit and new aviary are already under way with plans and construction.

Ron Merritt, Minot Park District director, said the Roosevelt Park Zoo was established in 1920, with the first animal being a male bison from Montana. The following year, a bear den and zoological building were added to the zoo. From the 1940s to the 1960s, the zoo animal population greatly increased and the area started to look like a zoo.

The flood of 1969 caused every bird and animal to be moved from the zoo, which led to the redesign of the zoo grounds. The foot bridge, a feline house and a new bear den were constructed. Throughout the following years, additions of new animals, new exhibits and the participation in the Species Survival Program greatly enhanced the zoo.

The flood of 2011 covered the zoo in nearly 10 feet of water for more than three weeks. The zoo’s 200 animals were evacuated, being welcomed as guests at zoos across the country. Others were cared for at a temporary facility in Minot, called the North Zoo. The zoo reopened in 2013, after being closed for two seasons.

“The Roosevelt Park Zoo is a great attraction for our community,” Merritt added. “We are fortunate for the support that the community gives to not only the zoo, but the park district as a whole. Our goal is to continue to provide opportunities for the citizens of Minot and its visitors to enhance their quality of life through its parks and recreational facilities.”