Category: Blank Park Zoo

Des Moines City Council Votes to Help with Blank Park Zoo Water Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Des Moines city council is giving the Blank Park Zoo some help with a hefty water bill.

As part of the measure approved Monday night, the zoo will begin paying for five-percent of the water it uses beginning on July 1st. That will increase to 20-percent by 2022 and that’s where it will be capped.

The city will pay the remainder unless a deal can be worked out with Des Moines Water Works.

The zoo is owned by the city but has been operated by a non-profit foundation since 2003.

Des Moines Water Works says the zoo should have started paying for water service when the foundation took over.

However, Water Works only requested $74,000 for water used last year and for the zoo to begin paying for the water it uses, going forward.

City Council to Vote on Agreement to Split Blank Park Zoo’s Water Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa — On Monday the Des Moines City Council will vote on a preliminary agreement to deal with the Blank Park Zoo’s outstanding $1 million water bill.

Back in March, Des Moines Water Works announced that the zoo, which used to qualify for free water more than 15 years ago, was no longer eligible to receive the discount and hadn’t been since 2003. That left an almost $1 million water bill unpaid. Water Works says they are not looking for back pay and now the city is stepping in the fill the gap.

The city council is looking at a plan in which the zoo will pay 20 percent of their water by 2023. However, it is the remaining 80 percent that is proving the be sticking point. City Councilman Joe Gatto wants Water Works to foot the bill or else it would fall to taxpayers. He says that because the city owns the zoo, they should get free or discounted water just like any other city building and that the cost is nothing compare to what the zoo offers.

“We’re talking less than a nickel. For the rate payers to pick that up for a regional attraction like the Blank Park Zoo I think is more than fair,” said Gatto.

He says the next step is to get Des Moines Water Works and the Iowa Utility Board in agreement.

Blank Park Zoo Unveils Black Rhino Calf’s Name

DES MOINES, Iowa – The Blank Park Zoo has revealed the name of its newest black rhino calf.

The zoo announced Friday the new addition, who was born on April 5th, has been named Kamara. It is Swahili and means “moonlight.”

Kamara is a female and is the second black rhino born at the Blank Park Zoo. Mom Ayana and dad Kiano already have another daughter, Tumani, who was born in 2016 and still lives at the zoo.

People were given the chance to suggest a name for the calf by submitting a donation and five finalists were chosen from the submissions.

The zoo says 2,700 people voted once the finalists were picked and Kamara won with 29% of the vote.

The other names under consideration were:

Kerubi – meaning “cherub”

Malaika – meaning “queen”

Hazina – meaning “treasure”

Maisha – meaning “life”

Kamara and Ayana are still secluded as they bond, but the zoo says they are both happy and healthy. The zoo is introducing small groups of people to the pair as a lead-up to when the calf will be on display for the public. That date has not been set yet.

Vote to Name Blank Park Zoo’s Newborn Rhino Calf

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Blank Park Zoo is once again asking for your help to name one of their new residents.

Two weeks ago, a black rhino calf was born to her mother, Ayana, at the zoo. The rhino is critically endangered in the wild and this calf is likely one of handful that will be born this year.

The zoo is using the naming rights to raise money for her care. An online vote is open right now on the zoo’s website. Voting ends on Thursday.

Here are the five finalists:

Kerubi – meaning “cherub”

Kamara – meaning “moonlight”

Malaika – meaning “queen”

Hazina – meaning “treasure”

Maisha – meaning “life”