Great Plains Zoo & Butterfly House unanimously voted to merge

GREAT PLAINS ZOO & BUTTERFLY HOUSE VOTE TO MERGE
GREAT PLAINS ZOO & BUTTERFLY HOUSE VOTE TO MERGE(GreatZoo.Org)
Published: Oct. 6, 2022 at 4:14 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The boards of directors for the Great Plains Zoo (GPZ) and Butterfly House & Aquarium (BHA) have unanimously voted to merge the two organizations.

The two organizations will stay at their current locations; however, on Jan. 1, 2023, the Zoological Society of Sioux Falls and the Butterfly House & Aquarium Board of Directors will be known as the Sioux Falls Zoo & Aquarium (SFZA) Board of Directors.

“This merger is possible because of outstanding support from our community, our donors, and our partners at the City of Sioux Falls who share our vision,” said Becky Dewitz, GPZ President & CEO. “We know that we’re stronger together – and together, we will further our mission-related impact for education, conservation, and incredible animal experiences that live in our hearts for a lifetime.”

“Plans are in development to undergo a major renovation at GPZ’s current location on South Kiwanis Avenue over the next several years,” said Audrey Otto-Pepper, BHA CEO. “Once the renovation is complete, we will have one consolidated campus providing a dynamic experience that features animals from land, sea, and sky – creating a remarkable destination for our community and visitors.”

Additionally, the ROAR of lions is returning in 2024, with construction anticipated to begin in 2023.

More on the history of the two organizations

The Zoological Society of Sioux Falls was formed in 1957, opening The Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History in 1963. It is currently home to 500+ animals from 120+ species.

The Butterfly House & Aquarium opened in 2002 as a butterfly conservatory, adding aquariums in 2011. It is currently the only public saltwater aquarium in the Dakotas – and one of the few year-round butterfly houses in the Midwest.