Nebraska Zoo Jokes

Caitlin tells of a common joke heard around the Nebraska, Ohio area:

  •  “Did you hear that Omaha has a new zoo?”
  • “No.”
  • “Yeah, they fenced in Iowa.”

Apparently there is a big rivalry between Nebraska and Ohio, and so Nebraska chooses to make fun of Ohio. Omaha has a very large zoo called the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. Caitlin claims that it is the only reason people come to visit the area and attracts visitors from all around. The joke pokes fun at Omaha’s giant zoo, and its grandeur. It also pokes fun at Iowa, which is commonly seen as the smaller state by Nebraska and Ohio. Caitlin describes the joke by saying that Nebraska and Ohio can be seen like siblings who bicker with one another, and Iowa can be seen as the smaller sibling who does not get to participate in the rivalry, because it is not old enough yet.

Jokes are an important part of folklore and can tell a lot about a place or a people. I think this joke clearly shows the rivalry between the two states, and also shows the two states’ relationship with Iowa.