The first of three Water Bird Lagoons in the Topeka Zoological Park
The Topeka Zoological Park in Topeka, Kansas is located south of I-70 in Gage Park at Gage & 6th Street. The best known feature of the Topeka Zoo is the tropical rain forest which was impressive when it was built in 1974. The zoo devotes most of its exhibits to larger species of animals, though typically there are only one or two members of the species on exhibit. The medium sized zoo is well laid out, and the animals are in large attractive enclosures.
There have been significant problems with the Topeka Zoo's accreditation over the years, starting when 2 orangutans died and a lion had to be euthanized, but the zoo regained accreditation in 2003. There have continued to be concerns about the zoo in 2005, 2009, 2010 and 2011. In August 2012, the zoo was cited for violation of the Animal Welfare Act in its care of the elephants and in 2013 the city of Topeka agreed to pay $45,000 in fines to settle a 2011 complaint by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Things appear to be looking up. During the 2016 inspection there was only one small violation. In July 2017, Animal Planet aired a segment on tigers featuring Topeka Zoo.
The most recent additions to the Topeka Zoo include Black Bear Woods which was established in 1996 and the Kansas Carnivores exhibit with mountain lions & North American river otters, which was completed in 2009. A new "Camp Cowabunga" is scheduled to open in 2018.
Animaland is a free children's play area with a narrow gage train, across from the entrance to the Topeka Zoo.
Though some visitors will spend much longer, the Topeka Zoo can be visited in a little over an hour.
copyright 2005-2017 by Keith Stokes