Originally a natural rainwater reservoir, during World War II, the Dutch and American marines and soldiers used this area for vehicle maintenance. There was always an abundance of water in this area and around the 1940’s trees and plants were cultivated and the park was known as "Plantentuin" (botanical garden).
In the fifties, in addition to the trees and plants, animals from different privately owned collections were exhibited. The area became a very popular site. The exotic/tropical animals became an attraction for the young and old.
After several years the area changed from a botanical garden to a zoo. The zoo was popularly called Parke Tropikal. Parke Tropikal is owned by the government of the island of Curaçao.
In the year 2000, the government began a foundation (Fundashon Parke Tropikal) whereby the sole function of funds would be used to manage the zoo, enrich the animals habitat, implement self sustainable systems for the animals environment, create an educational program, and preserve and protect the lives of endangered species.