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Boreal Community Media

A successful visit from the Zoomobile!

Sep 20, 2018 02:01PM ● By Editor

The energetic staff from the Minnesota Zoomobile visited the Grand Marais Public Library on September 13, 2018 and put on a wonderful show for over 200 guests, which is one of the most attended programs that they have ever had here at our library!


The staff brought a Solomon Islands skink (lizard), a possum, a 4 foot ball python, and a millipede and put on a 45 minute program.  They have three zoomobiles that travel around the state year-round for programming.  They visit hospitals, care centers, schools, parks, community events, fairs, and libraries.

Claudia Hochstein, Legislative Affairs Liaison for the Minnesota Zoo, shared a few interesting facts about the Minnesota Zoomobile from July, 2017 to June, 2018:

  • 51,529 Minnesota participants 
  • 673 hours of programming
  • 31,388 miles logged
  • 42 Minnesota counties visited

John Frawley, Director/President for the Minnesota Zoo, actually started as a zookeeper many years ago.  He said that one of his fondest memories was at a Care Center in Austin, Minnesota.  A 97 year old resident, who was terrified of snakes all of her life, actually wanted to touch the snake that they brought.  He said that seeing her smile as she overcame that fear was magical.  He said that the Minnesota Zoo is the 5th largest zoo in the county and has 1.4 million visitors each year.  They are celebrating their 40th year of service.

One important message that the Minnesota Zoo staff wanted to share with the community is that their goal is to make the Minnesota Zoo accessible to ALL populations, no matter the income level.  They implemented a program called “Free to Explore”.  With this program, any families who receive the following type of assistance are welcome to spend the day free of charge at the zoo:

  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
  •  Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Minnesota Food Assistance Program (MFAP)
  • General Assistance
  • Minnesota Care or Medical Assistance
  • Women, Infants & Children (WIC)
  • Headstart

To learn more about this program, follow this link:

To read more about the zoomobile, click here:


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