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    Red River ZooRed River Zoo Fargo, North Dakota
    The Red River Zoo in Fargo, North Dakota opened on their first eight acres in the spring of 1999, but now occupies 33 acres of land that had been part of a farm called the Red River Ranch, with numerous of the outbuildings being used for the zoo after being modified; and now houses more than 300 animals that represent 75 species that includes a few of the red pandas that are held in captivity worldwide. There is a magnificent 1928 carousel that was completely restored in 1995, and then donated to the zoo by the Diederich family. The zoo's most recent or new feature is a timber wolf display that houses five wolves that had been donated to the zoo when they were born and can be seen or watched from the exterior or interior of a trapper's cabin, that has two big viewing windows that allow visitors to watch the small family growing. This zoo specializes in rare and endangered species from areas north of the 40th parallel, so that the animals can be active in the winters, which are usually harsh and very cold. It is the fourth zoo constructed in the state, and depends on donations, grants, memberships and admissions to keep it running since they get no public funding.

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    Plains Art MuseumPlains Art Museum Fargo, North Dakota
    The Plains Arts Museum in Fargo, North Dakota, is a fine arts museum situated in their downtown area that dates back to 1965, when the Red River Art Center would open in the former Moorehead, Minnesota post office, and its name would be changed when it merged with the Rourke Art Gallery to form the Plains Art Museum in 1975. In 1987, there would be some kind of "schism" occurring that would see the leaving of founding director, James O'Rourke, which would cause the separation of the two original entities once more and they would revert to their old names, while the museum kept its downtown Moorehead location until 1996, when it would move to a renovated turn-of-the-century International Harvester warehouse in downtown Fargo, getting their accreditation in 2003. It is now one of the two in the state to have that distinction, and as the architects redesigned the old warehouse spaces, the final results would be both old and new styles. The museum's permanent collection has about three thousand works that include both national and regional contemporary artworks, traditional folk art, traditional American Indian art and more with outstanding examples of work from famous artists like, Salvador Dali, Sol LeWitt, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly and James Rosenquist. The museum started a marvelous traveling program in 1993 with a Rolling Plains Art Gallery that was a climate-controlled semi-trailer that would travel to various communities in the state and Minnesota, bringing not just the artworks, but the gallery itself and an art teacher travelled with it to showcase select pieces from its permanent collections.

April 26, 2011