Oshkosh Zoo
History of the Oshkosh Zoological Society

Our History

The Oshkosh Zoological Society (OZS) was founded in 1977, by members of the Oshkosh Noon Kiwanis Club.  In 1982, the OZS reorganized and pledged to take a more active role in supporting the zoo.  The OZS has always played a critical role in funding new exhibits, contributing to the prairie dog exhibit (1978), waterfall/waterfowl pond (1981), wolf exhibit (2002), elk exhibit (2007), and otter exhibit (2013).

The OZS also plays in role in meeting the educational mission of the society.  Young children spent summer days caring for zoo animals, assisting with animal demonstrations, and learning animal husbandry and behavior in the Zoolunteer Program (1996-2003).

In 2009, the OZS six interpretive signs to the zoo using a donation from the James Ryan Estate provided funding.   Signs for temporary animals are produced through a program between OZS members, Vertebrate Zoology students at Ripon College, and students from Webster Stanley Elementary School.  The OZS organizes two educational events a year, Bird Fest (May) and Conservation Carnival (August).