The Waterbird exhibit, which includes three ponds, houses a variety of native birds that fly in as well as our Trumpeter Swans.
This exhibit houses mountain lions and North American river otters amidst native Kansas grasses.
Black Bear Woods was established in 1996 through the generosity of Hill’s Pet Nutrition. It houses four black bears – adults Sneak and Peek, who arrived in 1996 from the Wildlife Prairie Park near Peoria, Illinois; and cubs J.D. and Katie, two orphans rescued from the wild in Oregon.
The Security Benefit Children’s Zoo opened in 1992 as a place for kids to interact with animals. The Children’s Zoo features domestic animals – including goats, sheep, and a llama – that enjoy being petted and fed by visitors of all ages.
The Tropical Rainforest was built in 1974 as the first exhibit of its kind in the nation! It serves as home to a variety of plants and animals ranging from birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Many of the animals in the Rainforest – such as sloths, birds, and bats- roam freely.
The Animals & Man building, which opened in 1966, originally housed animals acquired by the community through the Operation Noah’s Ark campaign. Today, it is home to the Zoo’s African Elephant, Asian Elephant, River Hippopotami, Reticulated Giraffe, African-Crested Porcupines, Cranes and other smaller species. In recent years, the Zoo added an outdoor pool and shade structure for the elephants; expanded indoor living space for the elephant; and a 28,000 gallon outdoor water pool for the hippos.
Jungle Cats provides an up close and personal experience with the Zoo’s Sumatran Tigers. Sumatran Tigers in the wild are highly endangered – with numbers falling below 400 animals – due to poaching and habitat destruction.
Lion’s Pride originally opened in 1989. The exhibit provides visitors with an opportunity to see a pride of lions and get a glimpse of what it’s like to be on safari in Africa. And, right next door to Lion’s Pride, visitors can meet our new family, African Wild Dogs and Addra Gazelle.
Discovering Apes opened in two phases between 1981 and 1985. The first phase, the Orangutan exhibit, provides a unique experience for visitors to view animals at tree-top level. In 1985, the Gorilla Encounter exhibit opened, which gives visitors an opportunity to enjoy an interactive experience with the Zoo’s gorillas as they walk through a glass tunnel, one of the first of its kind, and examine the Gorilla habitat. In 2003, an outdoor habitat was added for the Zoo’s Bornean orangutans to have the option to be outside when weather permits. The inside of the Discovering Apes building now exhibits the Capital City Bank Tree Top Conservation Center which describes the plight of apes in the wild.
The Topeka Zoo provides a beautifully-landscaped backdrop for the animals, through its own horticulturist. Exhibits and green spaces are planted with various plants, grasses and flora – all selected to mirror the animals’ natural habitats, pay tribute to Kansas native grasslands and enhance your Zoo experience. Flowering plants fill the Zoo during the growing season and springtime brings our well-known tulip beds.