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Zoos of Wisconsin

Discussion in 'United States' started by birdsandbats, 26 Feb 2019.

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  1. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    If you rank all the states in order of the number of zoos they have, Wisconsin would be number four. I plan to visit all of them at some point. In this thread, I will post overviews (similar to the Europe's Must See Zoos thread) of all of Wisconsin's zoos as I visit them. Stay tuned!
     
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  2. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    NEW Zoo & Adventure Park (Suamico, WI)

    The Northeastern Wisconsin (or NEW) Zoo is situated in Suamico, about 10 miles north of Green Bay and just on the southern edge of the Wisconsin's Northwoods. The zoo itself is deep inside this locally famous forest, and a walk in this zoo often fells more like a hiking trip than a zoo visit. But the hilly terrain, tall pines, and almost constant raven cawing only add to the incredible immersion experience the zoo has managed to create. The zoo keeps mostly species native to North America in average-sized to large exhibits that seem to contain a different form of enrichment every day. Unfortunately however, their exhibits for exotic animals are average at best and seem to try to make up for the disappointment with odd architecture that takes away from the woodsy feel a little bit.

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    Moose Exhibit (photo by @Milwaukee Man)

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    Emu Exhibit (photo by @Milwaukee Man)

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    Education and Conservation Center Interior, the zoo's ectotherm house (photo by @snowleopard)

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    North American River Otter exhibit (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Aladabra Tortoise yard with house in background (photo by @snowleopard)

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    White-Tailed Deer/Wild Turkey yard (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Lion exhibit with Giraffe yard in back (photo by @snowleopard

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    Red Wolf habitat (photo by @Milwaukee Man)
     
    Last edited: 26 Feb 2019
  3. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Wildwood Zoo (Marshfield, WI)
    Wildwood Zoo (not to be confused with Wildwood Wildlife Park in Minocqua) may have a tiny collection, but what it lacks in species diversity it makes up for in exhibit quality. This zoo keeps all its animals in average to excellent enclosures, including one of the best bear exhibits on the continent. To give you an idea of how massive many of the enclosures are, keep this in mind. The zoo spreads its 21 species over 60 acres of land, about 20 acres larger than the entire NEW Zoo, which keeps a little more than 4 times the amount of species. fI there is any problem with Wildwood Zoo, it's that the tiny collection is slightly disappointing.

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    Kodiak Bear exhibit (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Black-Tailed Prairie Dog exhibit with Kodiak Bear exhibit in the background (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Arctic Fox/Gray Fox exhibit (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    Bald Eagle/Rough-Legged Hawk aviary (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    American Bison paddock (photo by @birdsandbats)
     
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  4. Black Footed Beast

    Black Footed Beast Well-Known Member

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    I'm likely gonna use this form to figure out which zoos in Wisconsin I should go to, the only ones I've currently been to are Milwaukee and Racine
     
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  5. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Stevens Point Herpetological Society (Stevens Point, WI)
    SPHS is located inside University of Wisconsin: Stevens Point, and is the state's only reptile zoo. It is also by far the smallest collections that will be covered on this thread. It is made up of one large enclosure featuring several species of reptiles. Since it is so small, it isn't worth going out of your way to see by itself, but if you are in the area, it can be a pleasant 5-10 minute visit. I recommend a day of Stevens Point Museum of Natural History, Stevens Point Herpetological Society, Wildwood Zoo, and Wisconsin Rapids Municipal Zoo.

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    Vivarium (photo by @birdsandbats)
     
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  6. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Menominee Park Zoo (Oshkosh, WI)
    Menominee Park Zoo is a very small zoo. The zoo is layed out in a circular fashion around a lake. The North American complex is a nice, hidden gen that wouldn't look out of place at a mid-sized AZA zoo. However, the rest of the zoo mostly average to too small enclosures that lack any excitement unless the animals happen to be moving. Thankfully, the zoo is slowly improving its exhibits and planning new ones. A new Bald Eagle exhibit is planned to open soon.

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    View of the lake and the zoo (photo by @Milwaukee Man)

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    American Elk paddock (photo by @Milwaukee Man)

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    Gray Wolf exhibit (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Llama yard (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Patagonian Cay exhibit (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    Japanese Macaque exhibit (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    Indian Peafowl exhibit (photo by @Milwaukee Man)
     
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  7. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Wiscosnin Rapids Municipal Zoo (Wisconsin Rapids, WI)
    Wisconsin Rapids Municipal Zoo is a very small zoo located in a park. The zoo really seems out of the way, and once you get to the zoo the space is utilised terribly. Only a small amount of space is used for the animals, with most of the rest of it being for gardens. While the gardens do indeed look nice, they use up so much space it kind of gets ridiculous. That being said, for the most part (with a few exceptions noted), the enclosures aren't necessarily bad, just average or in some cases outdated. This zoo is only really worth the visit if you combine it with a better zoo like Wildwood.

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    Amazon Parrot exhibit (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    South American Coati exhibit (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    Ring-Tailed Lemur exhibit (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    Waterfowl and Llama yard (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    Domestic Cow exhibit (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    Greater Rhea yard (photo by @birdsandbats)
     
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  8. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member

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    This is looking like it will be a great thread. I've got a list of Wisconsin zoos below and I've visited 28 out of the 34 zoos in the state. The two best would be Milwaukee County Zoo and Henry Vilas Zoo, with an honourable mention for the specialist facility International Crane Foundation. On the other hand, some of the worst zoos I've ever come across are also found in Wisconsin!

    34 Wisconsin Zoos:

    **Alligator Alley (Wisconsin Dells)
    **Animal Gardens Petting Zoo (Delavan)
    **Animal Haven Zoo (Weyauwega)
    **Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary (Green Bay)
    **Bear Den Zoo (Waterford)
    **Beaver Springs Park Aquarium (Wisconsin Dells)
    **Bruemmer Park Zoo (Kewaunee)
    Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin (Appleton)
    Discovery World: Reiman Aquarium (Milwaukee)
    **Doc’s Zoo (Bonduel)
    Fawn-Doe-Rosa Wildlife Educational Park (St. Croix Falls)
    **Glacier Ridge Animal Farm (Van Dyne)
    **Henry Vilas Zoo (Madison)++
    **International Crane Foundation (Baraboo)++
    **Irvine Park & Zoo (Chippewa Falls)
    **Jo-Don Farms (Franksville)
    **Lincoln Park Zoo (Manitowoc)
    **MacKenzie Center (Poynette)
    **Menominee Park Zoo (Oshkosh)
    **Milwaukee County Zoo (Milwaukee)++
    Milwaukee Public Museum (Milwaukee)
    **NEW (Northeastern Wisconsin) Zoo (Green Bay)++
    **Ochsner Park Zoo (Baraboo)
    **Racine Zoo (Racine)++
    Safari Lake Geneva (Lake Geneva)
    **Shalom Wildlife Zoo (West Bend)
    **Special Memories Zoo (Greenville)
    **Timbavati Wildlife Park (Wisconsin Dells)
    **Wilderness Walk Zoo (Hayward)
    **Wildwood Wildlife Park (Minocqua)
    **Wildwood Zoo (Marshfield)
    **Wisconsin Big Cat Rescue (Rock Springs)
    **Wisconsin Deer Park (Wisconsin Dells)
    Wisconsin Rapids Zoo (Wisconsin Rapids)

    ** I've visited these 28 zoos
     
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  9. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin (Appleton, WI)
    This small, obscure facility takes the "butterfly gardens" type of zoo a different way than most others. I imagine that when you saw the name of this facility, you pictured an indoor rainforest filled with morphos, Paper Kites, and an endless amount of Heliconius species. You would be wrong. BGoW specialized in native lepidoptera species, and is very involved in the conservation of these species. The outdoor butterfly dome contains many species of lepidopterans as well dragonflies. There are many tanks of caterpillars and herps in the gift shop, which also sells milkweed seed. And land that isn't used is filled with native prairie plants. Even though you could see the whole place in maybe 5-10 minutes, you will want to spend much longer.

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    View of butterfly dome (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    Monarch caterpillar home (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    Northern Leopard Frog/American Toad terrarium (photo by @birdsandbats)

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    Prairie in the shape of a butterfly (photo by @birdsandbats)
     
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  10. drill

    drill Well-Known Member

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    Concord Zoo and Cristo Rey Ranch
     
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  11. EsserWarrior

    EsserWarrior Well-Known Member

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    As a Wisconsin resident, this is awesome to see. I didn't realize U.W. Steven's Point had that either! I'd like to go to college there.
     
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  12. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Those to are both on my "to visit" list.
    I believe that the keepers of SPHS are students at the university.
     
  13. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Glacier Ridge Animal Farm (Van Dyne, WI)
    I first visited this facility about a year after it opened, and I must say I was impressed. While mostly a farm park with a very homemade fell, this facility also kept an impressive collection of exotics in average enclosures on well-kept grounds. It was also (and still is) a working bison farm. It had 11 free-roaming species (not sure about the count now). Sadly, Glacier Ridge has declined in recent years, losing much of its exotic collection. Its grounds are so untended for that parts of the path are completely flooded. It does, however, have a resident wild Cattle Egret, which is a rare species in Wisconsin.

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    Ring-Tailed Lemur exhibit (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Llama paddock on the left, Dromedary paddock on the right (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Emu/Common Ostrich yard (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Awfully kept grounds example: Flooded pathway (photo by @snowleopard)
     
  14. LesulaMonkey

    LesulaMonkey Well-Known Member

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    What are the eleven free-roaming species at Glacier Ridge Animal Farm?
     
  15. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Domestic (Graylag) Goose
    Domestic (Swan) Goose
    Canada Goose
    Black Swan
    Mute Swan
    Domestic Mallard
    Domestic Pigeon
    Domestic Goat
    Domestic Cat
    Helmeted Guineafowl
    Indian Peafowl
     
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  16. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Beaver Springs Park Aquarium (Wisconsin Dells, WI)
    I have not yet visited this facility and have no plans to. But everything I hear about this place is awful. $7 admission, to see only goldfish and a couple turtle species. They have a scam set up where you have to pay hundreds of dollars to go fishing. I normally don't judge facilities I haven't visited, but I might not visit this one even if it means I will miss one zoo in Wisconsin.

    Instead of link to the gallery, I am going to copy and past Google reviews here:

    "Never, Ever go here. No matter if you read a few fake 4 or 5 star reviews.
    This place is a total scam set up to rip you off, point blank.
    I actually fled the property in fear of my children's safety and my own .
    The fact that the local law enforcement, city, and courts allow this place to operate is disgusting in every way .
    It's a huge black eye for the dells area . STY AWAY¡!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

    "What a scam!! Went there to take the hubby and kids trout fishing. I should have done a whole lot more research. Almost $300 later for about 30 min worth of fishing and catching 6 fish I felt like I should of had Vaseline included too. Check your receipt if you go. They added a cooler, ice and gratuity on there when I specifically told them not too. I noticed this after I paid and asked for a receipt. I got them to give me funds back for the cooler and ice but too much if a damn hassle to get gratuity off. We just wanted out of there. Luckily while waiting we saved at least 1 family from spending too much $$ there as we told them what we just paid and did. They couldn't leave fast enough. I was hoping this to be fun for all :("

    "This is one of the worse experiences of my life! I wish I could give it negative stars. The facility was so filthy and run down piles of junk everywhere. The workers stunk and looked like they hadn’t showered or changed their clothes for a month. Gave us a hard time about online price said that was old pricing well then update the web site. We were first people there at time of open and still took well over hour to get on a horse. The horses didn’t look to be taken care of very well. Most of them looked like they should of been retired 15/20 years ago. The trails were so bad. The scenery looked like a junk yard. The ride advertises a 30/40 min ride it was 25 min which is close but we walked so slow we had turtles lapping us. The trail just kept zig zagging the same area. If you walked the trails without a horse at a normal walk a person could finish it in 10 min. Oh I forgot to mention the rats yes “rats” we saw several of them around."

    "Dont even get me started. This place is an absolute scam. I never ever post Google reviews, but this place is a different exception. Never go here, EVER. Unless you want to fish in a place with low quality bait, and fishing materials. To top it all off, they scammed us with small print text to make us pay around 275 dollars for a few fish. This is an absolute scam. I repeat. This is an absolute scam!!!"
     
  17. LesulaMonkey

    LesulaMonkey Well-Known Member

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    I would not want to go to Beaver Springs Park Aquarium because paying $7 to see goldfish and turtles is like paying to get into a pet store!
     
  18. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree.
     
  19. Yi Qi

    Yi Qi Well-Known Member

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    Hell, there are even pet stores which have both better quality and exotic fauna, like your average Big Al's Aquarium superstore (mine has a shark and a moray eel for one).
     
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  20. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary (Green Bay, WI)
    The largest park in the Green Bay park system, this 600 acre park is mainly a nature reserve, with a good sized zoo that is composed of mostly of native rescue species. The exhibits range from average to above average enclosures. Many of the species kept here are very rare in captivity, some I suspect may be the only ones in captivity! In addition to the captive animals, many wild animals have showed up here. Odd ducks frequently show up, anything from Redhead to Mallard x Northern Pintail hybrid to Black-Bellied Whistling Duck have been seen here! This facility is a wonderful visit for both a zoo enthusiast or a birder, and especially those of use who are both.

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    Cooper's Hawk exhibit (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Indoor Aviary (inside the observation building) (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Coyote Exhibit (photo by @snowleopard)

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    White-Tailed Deer/Sandhill Crane exhibit (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Gray Wolf habitat (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Woodland Building interior, the zoo's nocturnal house (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Bobcat enclosure (photo by @snowleopard)

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    Nature Center interior (photo by @snowleopard)
     
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