‘Alpaca’ your things and go: Animals move to new Indianapolis Zoo in 1987

Posted at 5:27 AM, Nov 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-03 05:27:58-04

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s safe to say that moving day at the Indianapolis Zoo in 1987 was, itself, a zoo.

Animals of every shape and size were packed up and transported from the old zoo at George Washington Park near Keystone Avenue and 30th Street, to the new one near White River State Park in November 1987.

WRTV reporter Linda Lupear was there as a few of the animals embarked on their journey across town. Unfortunately, Lupear didn’t get to see any zoo headliners like lions, tigers and bears. Instead, her report focused on alpacas, llamas and even a pig named Sadie.

The move from the 25-acre Indianapolis Zoo at George Washington Park was a long time coming. Originally opened in 1964, the zoo featured more than 500 animals. But space was tight.

In 1979, zoo director Roy Shea told WRTV’s Ken Nelson that the Indianapolis Zoo was the smallest in the nation for a city the size of Indianapolis. Nelson reported that moving to White River State Park was a remote possibility.

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But in less than 10 years, the animals were on the move to where they still call home today.