If you are visiting Colorado Springs and looking to have some good quality family fun, you need to head to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. This zoological park located southwest of town on Cheyenne Mountain is the perfect setting for a relaxing and educational trip that people of all ages can enjoy. Here are 10 reasons why you should visit this impressive facility:
Elite Zoo Standards
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is currently ranked the 4th best zoo in North America, and one of the top zoological facilities in the world. It houses over 750 animals from 150 species, and it has the noble mission of breeding and offering sanctuary to endangered species. What started as a collection of exotic animals in 1926 became a world-class exhibit park less than a century later that welcomes more than 600,000 annually.
The African Rift Valley Pavilion
This exhibit features the design of African savanna and houses popular species from that type of environment. Here, you can see African lions, zebras, vultures, meerkats, and giraffes. Building this pavilion required a substantial investment of $11 million.
The Encounter Africa Exhibit
This award-winning pavilion had a construction and design cost of $13.5 million and it includes rare species of porcupines, rhinoceros, elephants, and tortoises.
The Australia Walkabout Exhibit
A zoo would not be complete without exhibiting some of the unique species of animals and birds from Australia. Here you can admire kangaroos, emus, alligators, and wallabies.
The Scutes Family Gallery
Formerly known as the Bird and Reptile House, this gallery hosts over 40 species of reptiles, lizards, snakes, and tortoises. Visitors can also see here rare turtle species and pythons.
The Monkey Pavilion
Kids will enjoy visiting this part of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo that houses various species of primates and monkeys. Although the pavilion was initially designated to host large felines in the early 1940s, now it is the home of gibbons, lemurs, sloths, monkeys, and marmosets.
The Asian Highlands Exhibit
Fans of big cats can satisfy their curiosity in the Asian Highlands Exhibit. This pavilion houses Amur tigers, leopards and even a few of the eluding snow leopards. Here you can even see Pallas’ cats, which are an endangered species of wild cats from Asia.
The Rocky Mountain Wild Exhibit
This gallery contains native species of the Rocky Mountains. In a large pavilion that cost the zoo over $8 million to build you can witness popular birds like bald eagles and Rio Grande turkeys, as well as mountain lions, grizzly bears, and moose.
The Making Waves Pavilion
This is a new pavilion of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and it houses hippopotamuses, penguins and other amphibian species. The exhibit opens in 2019, so you have a good chance of being one of the first tourists to visit it.
The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo near Colorado Springs is not all about animals, birds, and reptiles. This zoological park also offers visitors other entertainment options that include a carousel, a mountain sky ride via an open-air ski lift, and a commemorative tower with spectacular views of the surroundings called the Will Rogers Shrine of the Suns.