Indy animal education group Animalia announces plans to close, cites financial difficulty

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Image from Animalia

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — A group that’s spent the last decade providing animal education programs in central Indiana announced last week that it would have to shut down.

Animalia will close its animal care facility and end its education outreach programs, which primarily served central to western Indiana from Indianapolis to Lafayette. In a letter written on Oct. 27, Zoologist and Executive Director Joel Vanderbush said 2016 was a financially difficult year for the nonprofit group, which depended heavily on grants, partnerships and program fees to keep going.

4 Fast Facts

  • Animalia announces plans to close animal care facility and end education outreach programs
  • The group’s executive director says 2016 was financially difficult
  • Group depended on grants and partnerships for funding
  • It will hold its last program on Nov. 19

Vanderbrush said the loss of grants and lack of spring programming led to an “irrecoverable loss” for the group. As a result, the board of directors decided that closing down was the only option.

The group took care of 130 animals from 64 different species. The majority of those animals—107—have already been placed with zoos and the group is confident it will find homes for the rest. Vanderbush said Animalia provided 3,000 animal education programs for nearly a quarter-million people in its 10 years.

Vanderbush thanked everyone who’s supported Animalia over the years and said the group would remain active on social media. While it won’t have a physical presence, Animalia will continue to bring awareness about conservation and solicit donations for animal groups.

“I personally have taken great pride in helping a generation of people create value for animals and nature while at the same time being able to pursue this dream of mine that was Animalia,” Vanderbush wrote.

Animalia will hold its last educational program on Nov. 19 at Central Library downtown from 10 a.m. to noon. The animal care facility will close by Thanksgiving.

The group is still accepting donations to help with animal travel costs and another costs related to deconstruction and site repair.

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