Zoo readying to host Senior Safari

Senior citizens in Minot and the surrounding area won’t have to travel to Africa to go on a safari, nor will they have to worry about having a valid passport or vaccinations. Instead, they can travel to the Roosevelt Park Zoo and spend the day with safari animals for the annual Senior Safari event.

Senior Safari, an event specially designed for the senior crowd, will take place at the zoo on Thursday, Aug. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will also be a picnic at 11:30 at Roosevelt Park, toward the north side of the Veterans Memorial, with the meal served by the Minot Commission on Aging. Admission to the zoo is free for those age 55 and older, but cost for the meal is $4.

Trinity Health, which is sponsoring the event, will have information booths at the zoo that day.

Staci Kenney, Minot Zoo Crew executive director, said this year the picnic will take place at the park nearby instead of on the zoo grounds due to the construction currently happening at the zoo. Invitations were sent out to assisted living facilities and senior homes in Minot and the surrounding area, she added, and the Minot Commission on Aging has its buses come to the zoo for Senior Safari. Seniors from facilities in Velva, Garrison and Rugby also typically attend the event.

“We had a couple hundred people here last year,” Kenney said about the attendance. “This gives them (seniors) the opportunity to come out to the zoo and see what’s going on.” At this year’s Senior Safari, the zoo will have the giraffe feeding sessions at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Kenney thought there would be a good turnout for attendance again this year. “The park is flat, we’ll have a tent set up so there will be shade for the meal, and people can come over to the zoo and walk around.”

Senior Safari was started as a way to have a day where seniors could come out to the zoo for free. “We like to do a day where they can all come here,” Kenney said. There are other residents of senior centers who come to the zoo on a regular basis, she added. “But it’s nice to have a day where they’re all together and it’s nice to have Trinity sponsoring since they have information available.”

“It’s just nice to have them (seniors) all here,” Kenney continued. “It’s a good opportunity for centers outside of Minot that don’t have a zoo five minutes away to come here for the event.”

People interested in attending Senior Safari are asked to call the Minot Commission on Aging at 852-0561 by Aug. 18 to reserve a meal.