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Navajo Nation Zoo & Botanical Park, Window Rock

#8 of 8 in Zoos & Aquariums in Arizona
Zoo / Aquarium Garden
The Navajo Nation Zoological and Botanical Park is located in Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the Navajo Nation. It is the only tribally owned zoological park in the United States and is notable among zoological facilities in that it labels its exhibits in a Native American Indian language. Having been operated by the Navajo Nation Parks & Recreation Department since its inception in the early 1960s, it became part of the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife in September 2006.While its facilities have the unique mission of preserving and caring for the fauna and flora significant to Navajo culture, its existence has also sparked controversy among the more traditionalist elements in Navajo society.HistoryThe zoo's first specimen was a bear that had been left behind after the 1963 Navajo Nation Fair by a state organization, and the animal was named "Yogi the Bear," after the then-popular cartoon character. Since then, the exhibit has grown to about 50 different species on display, almost all of them native to the area. In 1976, the zoo, then named "Navajo Tribal Zoo," relocated to its current home and became part of the Navajo Tribal Parks & Recreation system. In September 2006, it was reorganized to be administered by the Navajo Nation Department of Fish and Wildlife.Staff and budgetThe facility's current director and curator is Matthew Holdgate, a biologist from the University of New Hampshire with prior work experience as an animal research specialist at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and with the U.S. Forest Service in California.
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  • On a recent trip through the Navajo Nation and north eastern Arizona, we stopped in Window Rock to get a picture of the iconic "window". We saw a sign for the zoo and decided to try it. Admission was ...  more »
  • A great complement to the museum, it's kind of impressive how many animals they have. Most of the enclosures also appear to be big enough for the natural habitats with the exception maybe of the bear,...  more »
  • Wonderful collection of exhibits that describe not only information about the animals but also the place of the animal within Navajo culture. While from the outset, it's not clear if there's much ther...  more »
  • You need to go here to get Hunting, Fishing Permits, And camping reservations. The cover Canyon De Chelly - Cottonwood Campground, Lake Powell Navajo Tribal Park Little Colorado River Tribal Park Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.