Many people are surprised to learn that Kansas has 13 named
zoos, as well as other animal parks. Kansas zoos range from small operations
like the Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory & Sanctuary in Louisburg to
one of the country's largest - the Sedgwick County Zoo in Wichita, Kansas.
Zoos of Kansas
Kansas zoos and refuges still to be reviewed: Operation Wildlife
(Linwood). Please let me know if there are other animal parks or zoos that
I have missed or if you hear of changes at the zoos or parks already visited..
|Caney, Kansas - The Safari
Zoological Park is a private zoo, just east of Caney, Kansas, near
the Oklahoma state line. Their hours can be a bit irregular and the zoo
may not open during poor weather, so be sure to call and confirm before
The small zoo has primates, large cats of several species,
bears, wolves, foxes, and tropical birds. A guide takes you though the
park on a one hour tour.
|Clay Center, Kansas - The tiny Clay
Center Zoo is free and open 9 AM - 8 PM, 7 days a week. The Clay
Center Zoo is run by the Clay Center Utility Company. It is part of a park
across from the power plant. Some of the cages are very small and barren.
|Dodge City, Kansas - Wright
Park Zoo in Dodge City is one of the smallest zoos in Kansas. Portions
of the zoo are old, but there is more room and better facilities for the
animals than many WPA zoos.
|Emporia, Kansas - The David
Traylor Zoo is a small zoo, but far from the smallest in Kansas.
The larger animals are in a separate area behind the zoo, and across the
street. They can be seen from your automobile and seen when the zoo is
This free zoo is open 10 AM - 4:30 PM, 7 days a week,
and stays open until 8 PM Sundays & Wednesdays from Mother's Day through
the first Sunday in October.
|Fort Scott, Kansas - Fort Scott's 132 acre
Park has been a popular place for picnics, fishing, paddle boats and
RV parking for generations. At the entrance to the park there a small display
of mostly domestic fowl. There are peacocks, quail, several varieties of
golden pheasant, wood ducks, turkeys, chickens and rabbits.
Free - open any time
1010 Park Avenue, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701 (620) 223-0550.
|Garden City, Kansas - With 300 animals of 100
species, the Lee Richardson Zoo is larger than most zoos in Kansas.
The layout is not very easy to follow and many of the animals are hard
Admission is free if you walk in, but there is a charge
of $10/car if you drive in. The zoo is open 8 AM - 4:30 PM during standard
time and 8 AM - 6:30 PM during daylight savings time. The Lee Richardson
Zoo is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.
Lee Richardson Zoo, 312 Finnup Drive, Garden City, Kansas
67846 (620) 276-1250
|Garden Plain, Kansas - Eagle
Valley Raptor Center was started in 2003 to promote conservation
of birds of prey through public education, and provide shelter and care
to injured & orphaned raptors. The Center and living quarters occupy
10 acres and there are an additional 10 acres of tall grass prairie with
a nature trail & small wetlands area.
Admission to the center is by appointment for individuals
or groups. A $5 donation is suggested and includes a guided, personalized
|Goddard, Kansas - The Tanganyika
Wildlife Park opened to the public as a zoo, in June of 2008. Tanganyika
is a non-profit breeding facility for rare and endangered species. Species
represented in the park include giraffes, tigers, snow leopards, and zebras.
Tanganyika Wildlife Park distinguishes itself from other
Kansas zoos by emphasizing interaction between visitors and the animals,
There are many opportunities to feed or pet wildlife as diverse as lemurs,
camels, birds and snakes.
Closed for the winter, open April through October.
|Great Bend, Kansas - The Brit
Spaugh Zoo has two parts. The main part appears to be much older
and includes many small, out of date cages. The second part is north of
the main area about 60 yards away. The North American Exhibit has larger
pens and most of the zoo's larger animals. Much of this portion of the
zoo can be viewed from the outside even when the zoo is closed. Several
new exhibits are under construction,
The Brit Spaugh Zoo is free, and the zoo is open 9 AM
to 4:30 PM daily.
|Hutchinson, Kansas - The Hutchinson
Zoo has only about 160 animals and doesn't take very long to visit.
It says a lot about the pride of the community, that Hutchinson maintains
this zoo, when the spectacular Sedgwick County Zoo is only 40 miles away.
The Hutchinson Zoo is currently expanding.
Open limited hours, seven days a week. Free Admission
- at least until the expansion is complete..
Hutchinson Zoo, 1500 S Plum Street, Hutchinson, KS - (620)
|Independence, Kansas - The Ralph Mitchell Zoo
is one of Kansas' oldest zoos. Older features include a monkey island built
as a 1930's WPA project, and "Kiddy Land." Although the surrounding Riverside
Park seems to be doing well the Ralph Mitchell Zoo has declined from its
Open 7 days a week. Free.
Ralph Mitchell Zoo, Riverside Park Independence, Kansas
67301 - (620) 332-2513
|Lawrence, Kansas - The Prairie
Park Nature Center displays more species than several of the attractions
that call themselves zoos. The display hall has a surprising large selection
of plants, birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, fish and small mammals.
The live species on display are supplemented by dioramas
with stuffed animals, and also by wild birds and mammals which come up
to the nature center's windows.
Open Tuesday - Saturday: 9-5 Sunday: 1-4.
Parry Park Nature Center, 2730 SW Harper, Lawrence, Kansas
66046 (785) 832-7980
|Louisburg, Kansas - Cedar
Cove Feline Conservatory & Sanctuary isn't a park, but a preserve
for tigers and a refuge for big cats of other species which are abandoned,
neglected or whose owners are unable to care for them. Cedar Cove is open
to the public on Weekends only. Each visitor or group of visitors have
a personally guided tour.
Admission is $5 for age 4 and older.
|Manhattan, Kansas - The Sunset
Zoo is one of the most popular zoos in Kansas. Most displays are
modern & roomy, and the animals all appear healthy. This zoo is fun.
The Sunset Zoo is open 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM from April through
October, and Noon - 5:00 PM the balance of the year. Admission is $4.
|Manhattan, Kansas - The Insect
Zoo at Kansas State University includes displays of preserved,
live and fossil insects. Several of the displays are hands on, including
the use of microscopes to view preserved insects, and a creative kitchen
display where each cupboard or drawer had examples and details about the
creatures that may be found there.
Before visiting the K-State Insect zoo, I never realized
that there are scorpions in Kansas.
Open limited hours Monday through Saturday. Admission
to the Bug Zoo is $2, $1.50 for seniors.
|Nickerson, Kansas - The
Hedrick's Exotic Animal Farm Bed and Breakfast in Nickerson is
open for both overnight guests and tours.
Tours include seeing 30 varieties of exotic animals and
feeding and/or petting cattle, camels, ostriches, rheas, zebras, antelope,
kangaroos, and giant tortoises. The tour concludes with a pony ride (for
those under 85 pounds) and camel rides for all.
Open year around, with tours by appointment only.
|Overland Park, Kansas - The 12 acre Deanna
Rose Children's Farmstead has farm animals, birds of prey, gardens,
nature trail, a one room country schoolhouse, fishing pond, Kanza Indian
encampment, horse drawn wagon rides, and pony rides. This petting zoo has
become more of an agricultural theme park.
Open 7 days a week April - October. Admission is free.
|Pittsburg, Kansas - Nature
Reach is an outreach program of Pittsburg State University's Biology
Department. Nature Reach offers interactive small group programs both on
the Pittsburg State campus and in schools. The campus location has a collection
of wild animals which exceeds the size of most nature centers.
Nature Reach also has a Natural History Reserve which
is located several miles southwest of Pittsburg. There are 79 acres of
partially reclaimed mine land and the Natural History Reserve Laboratory
& Raptor Care Facility with its owls, hawks, vulture and crow.
|Pratt, Kansas - The Pratt
Education Center, Aquariums and Fish Hatchery are operated by the Kansas
Department of Wildlife and Parks. Displays, dioramas, and exhibits display
both living and preserved native birds, fish, mammals, and reptiles of
The Aquarium Room contains twelve 400-600 gallon aquariums
displaying fish species that are native to Kansas or that have been successfully
introduced into Kansas. Other rooms include live snakes and prairie dogs.
Open Monday - Friday. Free.
|Salina, Kansas - The Zoo
at Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure is on 60 acres, adjacent to
the Rolling Hills Ranch and the Museum. The animals are in spacious enclosures
and appear to be in excellent health. If you visit on 2 or 3 zoos in Kansas,
Rolling Hills should be one of them.
Admission is $12.50 for adults. Closed Christmas Eve,
Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
|Salina, Kansas - The largest free standing aquarium
in Kansas is the Kansas Fishes Exhibit at the Central Mall in Salina.
The 15,000 gallon aquarium is home to 50 - 100 turtles and native fish,
including channel catfish, blue gill, crappie, wipers, largemouth bass,
white bass, and walleye.
Free - open during regular mall hours. The fish are fed
daily at 4 PM.
Central Mall, 2259 South 9th Street, Salina, Kansas 67401
|Topeka, Kansas - The best known feature of the
Zoo is the tropical rain forest which was impressive when it was
built over 30 years ago. The zoo is well laid out, and the animals are
in large attractive enclosures.
Recent additions to the Topeka Zoo include the Jungle
Cats exhibits for Sumatran tigers and Black leopards which opened in 2005
and the Grant's zebra exhibit in 2006.
|Wichita, Kansas - The small Kansas Wildlife
Exhibit in Wichita's Central Riverside Park opened in 1988, but there
has been a zoo here in one form or another since 1901. There are 8 cages
with over 20 species of birds and turtles, mostly birds of prey that are
also used in education programs. The cages are old and fairly heavy, making
it hard to see and photograph the wildlife. There is a lovely adjacent
Admission is free and it is open from dawn to dusk.
Kansas Wildlife Exhibit, Central Riverside Park, Wichita,
Kansas - (316) 683-5499.
|Wichita, Kansas - The Sedgwick
County Zoo is the largest zoo in Kansas and one of the largest
zoos in the United States. One of Kansas' largest attractions, the zoo
is home to more than 2,500 animals of nearly 500 different species. One
of the most impressive features is the Downing Gorilla Forest, and they
just opened a new penguin house in 2007.
Adults admission is $12. The Sedgwick County Zoo is open
364 days a year.
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