Washington Park Zoo

Dr. Bailey provides medical care to many of the animals at the Washington Park Zoo. Our registered technicians enjoy having the opportunity to work with such beautiful animals.

A Brief History of Washington Park Zoo

In 1928, a retired circus bear named “Jake” grew unhappy and missed the attention of the public. His trainer became concerned and placed him in his cage in the middle of Washington Park in hopes that people would raise his spirits. Public response was overwhelming and animals were added. In August of 1928, the first Zoo board was appointed. The zoo was moved to its present location. Jake, a Siberian brown bear, was so happy with his life that he lived to be 51 years old, far beyond his life expectancy.

Washington Park Zoo has been a landmark in Michigan City since 1937. The Works Progress Administration or (WPA) built many of the brick buildings that still exist today. Washington Park Zoo was built on 9 acres, 5.5 of those acres have been developed for exhibit. The tower is one of the Zoo’s top attractions. It was built in the mid 1930’s by the WPA. From the top of the tower, you are at the second highest elevation in LaPorte County.  Blue Chip Casino and Hotel surpassed it in 2008 when it built its hotel tower.