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Henry Vilas Zoo Pachy Pros Henry Vilas Zoo Review

Discussion in 'United States' started by pachyderm pro, 27 Oct 2016.

  1. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

    23 Aug 2016
    The City of Big Shoulders
    The Henry Vilas zoo is a small zoo in Madison, Wisconsin. It sits on just 28 Acres and... Its FREE! Personally I love the location. Its right in the middle of a simple neighborhood so its a great way to just take a stroll for a few hours, It has a lovely collection of rare and common animals an a mix of exhibits That range from Great, to Average, to awful. So lets get into this review.

    Primate House- The 1st exhibit in this average complex is a decent outdoor orangutan exhibit. Its a little small however. I just have a habit of Going to zoos with small orangutan exhibits ("ahem" Milwaukee "ahem, ahem" Brookfield "ahem'.) Across from the red apes is a decent outdoor lemur yard for ring tailed, and black and white ruffed lemurs. You then enter a simple building that has a large indoor orang exhibit, a nice lemur indoor exhibit, and a nice colobus monkey, and rock hyrax exhibit.

    Big cats- 2 simple exhibits separated by chain link and glass instead of moats A grassy exhibit for African lions, and a wonderful dense exhibit for Amur tigers.

    Pachyderm house- This is another simple exhibit with just 2 paddocks. The larger dusty one is home to a single white rhino. The other paddock is semi dense and has a pool. This is home to my favorite animal, a Malayin tapir who sadly not out on my visit. What I like is that instead of wire fences or moats (Like most pachyderm exhibits) its a simple hill. The zoos white rhino was just inches away from me. The only real downside is no indoor viewing.

    Hoofstock pens- The most noticeable is a medium sized dusty giraffe pen that Has indoor viewing for a pair of Giraffes. The next few exhibits are simple for camels, Barbados sheep, ostriches, peafowls, and (We got a rare one) Somali Wild Ass.

    Childrens zoo- Before the main entrance a nice flamingo pond is passed over a small bridge. Many exhibits here are basic but still interesting desert exhibits include tortoises, porcipines, meerkats, and aardvarks. some nice tropical exhibits are home to red pandas and some extremely noisy gibbons. They look alike and are pretty roomy out a little cramped. A small pen that can be viewed from the hoofstock area and the childrens zoo is home to alpacas and a rhea. The barn was closed during my visit but it looked ok. There is a simple goat petting pen in this yard as well. Lastly there is a giant kids playground that looks really cool.

    Reptile and herp building- A simple reptile house with a simple concept. outside there is a simple tortoise yard that's simple. There are some simple terrariums with a simple reptile collection. This exhibit is simply... simple...

    African penguins- This is a basic (Not simple but basic) penguin pool that is fairly small and could use an upgrade. There really is not much to say about this exhibit that is kinda hidden in the back behind some trees.

    Tropics house- This is different then most tropic houses. Unlike Brookfield, Bronx, and Omaha. this building has mostly small mammals and birds. Outside are 2 nice outdoor exhibits. One has underwater viewing, this is home to otters. Right next to it is a smaller narrow yard for capybara (Another one of my favorite animals) When you enter the building some glass windows provide another view of the capybara exhibit. You then enter a wonderful tropical bird walkthrough room. There is also a pygmy marmoset exhibit. I cant remember much of this exhibit but It was still very nice.

    North American Praire- Across from the best exhibit in the zoo, is a nice Northern exhibit. A dusty bison paddock is main exhibit that can also be viewed from a deck. This deck also shows you a nice praire dog exhibit. Most recently a badger, and sandhill crane exhibit has benn built but I have not seen them.

    Artic passage- The newest exhibit in the zoo opened last year and is amazing, why? This exhibit has... the only restraunt in the zoo. In all seriousness though this exhibit is great 2 large grassy bear exhibits (Polar, and grizzly) They each have pools, dens, and lots of space. The polar bear exhibit is the better one however, why? The entire right wall of restraunt is made of glass panels looking into the polar bear exhibit. I cant tell you how excited I got when the bears came right to the glass while I was eating. The last exhibit here is a slightly small seal pool, with underwater viewing.

    - The Henry Vilas zoo is a great small zoo with rare animals (aardvark, wild ass, capybara) and some great exhibits (Artic passage, Tropic hall) I would definitely visit again.

    My apologies for lack of detail, its hard to describe zoos like this.
    MKE Zoo guy likes this.