Cosley Zoo has accomplished much since opening as Cosley Children’s Park and Museum in 1974. As the zoo grew, the name changed in 1976 to Cosley Animal Farm and Museum. In 1987, the Vern Kiebler Learning Center was built and, in 1999, the park took on its current name, Cosley Zoo.
Cosley Zoo continues to evolve and expand its exhibits, programs, and conservation efforts. In 2000, Cosley Zoo became accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. Then in 2001, began initiatives to save Blanding’s turtles, an Illinois endangered species, with more than 4,000 turtles reared and released back into the wild to date!
Many natural wildlife habitats were added in 1993 and 1997. Additional parking was constructed in 2009, a bobcat exhibit debuted in 2012, and in 2017 the Cosley Foundation and Wheaton Park District adopted a comprehensive master plan that demonstrates a future vision that will allow the zoo to continue teaching and inspiring the community.
Look for new signs to be placed throughout the zoo in 2024, giving visitors a glance at the milestones Cosley Zoo has attained over the past 50 years.
You can actively join in the celebration by sharing photos of yourself and your family at Cosley Zoo for our special photo project.
Be sure to circle September 7, 2024, on your calendar for our first-ever Zoo Gala! Gala Details