The Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park, commonly referred to as the Arizona Zoo, is a premier destination for animal lovers and families in Litchfield Park, Arizona. Spanning over 95 acres, the zoo is home to more than 600 species of animals, including many rare and endangered species. With a focus on conservation, education, and providing memorable experiences, the Arizona Zoo offers a unique opportunity for visitors to get up close and personal with wildlife from around the world. This article will provide a detailed overview of the Arizona Zoo, including its history, exhibits, attractions, and visitor information.
History of the Arizona Zoo
The Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park was founded by Mickey Ollson, a passionate conservationist and animal lover. The zoo opened its doors in 1984, with a mission to provide a natural and enriching environment for its animal inhabitants while promoting conservation and education among its visitors.
Over the years, the Arizona Zoo has expanded significantly, adding new exhibits, attractions, and educational programs. In 2008, the zoo opened its state-of-the-art aquarium, which houses a diverse collection of marine and freshwater species. In 2016, the zoo introduced the Safari Park, a 15-acre expansion that features African lions, cheetahs, and other exotic animals in spacious, naturalistic habitats.
Today, the Arizona Zoo is one of the largest privately-owned zoos in the United States and is accredited by the Zoological Association of America (ZAA).
Exhibits and Attractions
The Arizona Zoo is divided into several distinct areas, each featuring a unique collection of animals and habitats:
- Zoo: The main zoo area is home to a vast array of animals from around the world, including mammals, birds, and reptiles. Some notable exhibits include the African Lion exhibit, the Primate Walk, the Reptile House, and the Australian Walkabout.
- Aquarium: The 4-building aquarium complex houses a diverse collection of marine and freshwater species, including sharks, stingrays, sea turtles, and a variety of colorful fish. Visitors can explore the aquarium’s themed exhibits, such as the Coral Reef, the Amazon River, and the Deep Ocean.
- Safari Park: The Safari Park allows visitors to embark on an immersive journey through African landscapes, featuring large, naturalistic habitats for animals such as cheetahs, African lions, and white rhinos. The Safari Tram offers a guided tour of the park, providing an up-close view of the animals and informative narration about their natural history and conservation efforts.
- Adventure Land: Adventure Land is an interactive area designed for children, featuring a petting zoo, pony rides, and a variety of play structures and activities. The area also includes the Wildlife Encounters Show, where visitors can learn about different animals and witness live demonstrations.
- Dragon World: The newest addition to the Arizona Zoo, Dragon World showcases various species of large reptiles, including crocodiles, alligators, and the Komodo dragon. This exhibit offers a unique opportunity to learn about these fascinating creatures and their importance in the ecosystem.
The Arizona Zoo is open year-round, with seasonal hours and special events throughout the year. General admission includes access to the zoo, aquarium, and safari park. Additional attractions, such as the Safari Tram, giraffe feeding, and stingray touch tank, are available for an additional fee.
Visitors can find a variety of dining options within the zoo, including cafes, snack bars, and food stands. The zoo also offers picnic areas for those who wish to bring their own food.
The Arizona Zoo is committed to accessibility and offers wheelchair rentals, stroller rentals, and special accommodations for guests with disabilities. For more information on planning your visit, including hours, admission prices, and special events, visit the Arizona Zoo’s official website.
The Wildlife World Zoo, Aquarium & Safari Park offers a unique and immersive experience for animal lovers of all ages. With a diverse collection of animals, engaging exhibits, and a commitment to conservation and education, the Arizona Zoo is a must-visit destination for families and wildlife enthusiasts alike. Plan your visit today and discover the wonders of the animal kingdom at the Arizona Zoo.