Visitor & Tickets
Animals & Exhibits
Learning Adventures

Our National Heritage

The North America exhibit opened in May of 1993, showcasing native North American species and educating visitors about animals that are part of their national heritage. Otters, bears, bison and other animals once roamed the Kansas prairie and its fringes, but have been displaced by human encroachment. Big Bear Watering Hole now marks the entrance to our North America exhibit.  view more >

Animals in the Exhibit
American elk
  • Cervus elaphus canadensis
Black-tailed prairie dog
  • Cynomys ludovicianus
Collared Lizard
  • Crotaphytus Collaris
Cougar
  • Puma concolor stanleyana
Florida sandhill crane
  • Grus canadensis pratensis
Grizzly bear
  • Ursus arctos horribilis
Hooded Merganser
  • Mergus Cucullatus
Mexican wolf
  • Canis lupus baileyi
North American black bear
  • Ursus americanus
North American river otter
  • Lontra canadensis lataxina
Northern bald eagle
  • Haliaeetus leucocephalus alascensis
Ornate box turtle
  • Terrapene ornata
Osage copperhead
  • Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster
Prairie bison
  • Bison bison bison
Prairie rattlesnake
  • Crotalus viridis viridis
Pronghorn
  • Antilocapra americana americana
Red-sided gartersnake
  • Thamnophis sirtalis parietalis
Reticulate gila monster
  • Heloderma suspectum suspectum
Timber rattlesnake
  • Crotalus horridus horridus
Trumpeter swan
  • Cygnus cygnus buccinator
Western massasauga
  • Sistrurus catenatus tergeminus
Western turkey vulture
  • Cathartes aura aura
Whitetailed deer
  • Odocoileus virginianus
Wild turkey
  • Meleagris gallopavo

ZooKeepers’ Journals

Our keepers are very busy caring for the animals. When time allows we will add journal entries here. We hope the Zookeepers' Journals will be a fun way to learn more about the fascinating animals we have in our care. Check back for updates from the Zookeepers. If there is an animal or area of North America that you would like our keepers to write about — please let us know. We will do our best to address your areas of interest as time allows. Thanks for checking in.

August 26, 2009

Here's looking at you.  view more >

Photo Gallery

Catching a glimpse of these animals as they roam the North America area of the Zoo we are made aware of their significance and realize how rare such glimpses are.  view gallery >

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North America
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Home on the Range

The North America exhibit opened in May of 1993, showcasing native North American species and educating visitors about animals that are part of their national heritage. Otters, bears, bison and other animals once roamed the Kansas prairie and its fringes, but have been displaced by human encroachment.

Big Bear Watering Hole marks the entrance to the North America exhibit. It is here that you can relax by the cool waterfall or pause long enough to take a photo of your family by the bear family sculpture to mark the start of your adventure through North America. Behind Big Bear Watering Hole is the boat dock. You can take a boat tour from North America to Africa and back for a different view of the Zoo. You'll pass under The Downing Gorilla Forest bridge, float through Nganda Village and past three lemur islands before you make the turn near Pride of the Plains, returning once again to North America.

Continuing down the path you come upon the grizzly bear pool. The grizzly bears can often be seen splashing or soaking in the pool on warm afternoons. Walking further down the path you'll see black bears and white-tailed deer. Stop for a moment to watch the North American river otters. What are they up to? Possibly swimming, playing, maybe taking a nap.

Further down the road you'll see a small building, home to native amphibians and reptiles. Heading toward the boardwalk you'll see elk and the magnificent bald eagle. Taking the boardwalk up and over the boat canal gives you a new perspective of the Zoo. Take your time, feed the water fowl and fish.

Next on the trail is the Mexican wolf. In 1997, an exhibited pair of Mexican wolves gave birth to a litter of eight pups, one of the largest and healthiest litters ever born in a zoo. One of those pups has been released into the wild in the southwest and formed his own pack, hopefully helping to secure the future for this native North American species. Mexican wolves are one of the rarest animals in our Zoo and they are rare in the wild. The last wild one was seen in 1980. These wolves are rare gems the Zoo is fortunate to be able to share with our guests.

Up ahead you'll learn more about bison and prairie dogs which all make Kansas home on the range. Catch a glimpse of a cougar. Enjoy your walk through our native North America exhibit. Watching these animals roam we are made aware of their significance by realizing how rare such glimpses are.
 

ZooKeepers’ Journals
Contacts
5555 Zoo Boulevard
Wichita, Kansas 67212
t: (316) 660-9453