Nov 25

Dickerson Park Zoo – Springfield Missouri

RattlesnakeDickerson Park Zoo is a 55 acre zoo that is home to 450 animals that belong to 160 different species.  It is a very nice small town zoo that is involved in several species survival plans most notably in helping cheetahs, Asian Elephants, and maned wolves produce future generations.  Karen and I, along with her sister, visited this zoo on a Saturday afternoon and found the zoo to be very charming.  It is not something you would travel great lengths to see, but if you are in the Springfield area and are looking for something to do for an afternoon then you could do a lot worst than this zoo.
Asian ElephantThe Dickerson Park Zoo has come along way since being on the verge of shutting down in the mid-seventies.  It was updated and completed a master plan in the 90’s and is currently looking for funding for new projects for the future.  The zoo has been a member of AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) since 1986. Karen and I hope that the people and businesses of Springfield keep supporting their very nice zoo and looking forward to what changes lay ahead.

Lion's YardWe had a great time at the zoo.  The animals that are on display represented all different parts of the world like Africa, Australia, Asia, and even Missouri.  There was a great variety of animals for such a small town zoo and by the end of our visit we were very pleasantly surprised at all that we saw.  I would say that it took us about three hours to go through it.

Giraffe FramedWe were a little disappointed that by the time we were there that the giraffe feeding was closed, but that is understandable considering we were there on  a cooler day and practically had the whole zoo to ourselves.  The elephant yard was much bigger than other small town zoos usually have and they looked content there. The zoo also had a nice reptile and amphibian house with larger tanks then most zoos have.  The poison dart frogs had a gigantic tank relative to their size and it was a lot of fun to try and spot all the little frogs in it.  Everything in the zoo was well done. The only part we were a little disappointed in was the hippo yard.  The hippopotamus’s pool seemed very narrow and at times it almost looked like he had to scrap the edge to get turned around.  Hopefully a future project will give it more room.

Karen and Julie by the WaterfallMy favorite area of the zoo was the duck pond, yeah I know… that does not sound very exciting but the pond had a nice size waterfall and a large variety of ducks and water fowl.  There was a wonderful board walk that takes the visitor across the lake.  The only thing that I did not get is the fact that hippo has such a small pool while the ducks and swans had plenty of room, if only there was a way to combine the two.  The duck pond also had a feeding station which was fun to see the koi fish and ducks battle it out for the food.  I  was starting to feel sorry for the fish because you just knew that they had to be getting kicked by the ducks and swans and it is amazing how big a swan’s foot is.

River OttersKaren’s favorite part of the zoo was the Missouri Habitat area.  She really liked the fact that the wolves and black bear areas were large.  Once again we were disappointed because the bear area was being worked on so they were locked up in side cages.  However, the bear exhibit looked nice and very interactive for the bears it was just a shame that we did not get to see them walking around in it.  The otter exhibit was one of the biggest that we have ever seen they had a large pool and an equally large land area to move around in.  I wonder if they ever have baby otters, there was certainly enough room to have more of them.

Missouri Wildlife Area

Overall, Karen and I were very impressed with this zoo.  It has a lot more to offer then most zoos’ in cities of comparable sizes to Springfield.  It has no really eye-catching exhibit in particular, but all of its exhibits except for the hippo one were nice.  The price was set at a very reasonable rate and Karen and I were glad that we got to see it.
Dickerson Park Zoo

Dickerson Park Zoo
Located at 3043 North Fort Springfield
Hours of Operation- 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through September, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  October to March
Cost of Admission as of 2011- Adults 13 to 60 $8, Children 3-12 and Seniors 60 and over are $5
For more information visit their website at http://www.dickersonparkzoo.org/

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1 comment

  1. freda phillips

    Dad said “That is two beautiful ladies. Cutie ladies”. and I agree.

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