Kansas City Zoo

And I’m back! I mentioned in yesterday’s Penguin Polooza post that hubby and I also went to the Kansas City zoo for a day of fun.


I’ve been meaning to check it out since 2009/2010 when our electric coop magazine ran an article about the director “pleading” with people to come to the KC zoo instead of going all the way to Omaha. Despite the intent, it’s taken us this long to actually get there. (hey, life is like that).

We actually meant to go last autumn, but ran out of time before it got chilly. So, I’ve checked out reviews and such for the zoo before and have always been surprised by the negative ones. Now that I’ve gone I am REALLY surprised about the negative ones. I thought it was great – it’s not as big as Omaha’s, but it doesn’t cost as much to get in, either, and it has plenty of animals and some really great exhibits. I noted with dismay that one reviewer complained because the habitats were “too big” and offered animals”privacy” to “hide from people”. Um…yeah. how is that a bad thing? I guess because the people in question didn’t get to stick their faces in some poor animals’…

As I mentioned yesterday it was COLD – like seriously twelve degrees F cold, so most of the animals weren’t out. Signs on the exhibits explained that they had the option to stay indoors if they wanted to (meaning you might get lucky) but for the most part the animals were smart and chose to stay inside.

That’s not to say we didn’t get to see things. The Tropics house and Discovery Barn were open, the polar bear Berlin was out, the river otters loved the weather, and the sea lions were even having fun. The coolest, though, were the orangutans. They have a HUGE enclosure and normally you wouldn’t get to see them up close, but because they were indoors, they came right up to the viewing window to see us. And I mean right up.


As in that photo is a 35 mm shot.


You can see in that one how close they were to us. As someone who usually finds the orangutans scary, this was especially fun because these guys weren’t scary at all (Omaha’s are sometimes pretty aggressive). The older one was more quiet and thoughtful while the younger one there was funny. I doubt we’ll ever get to see them this close again, and I wish I’d been able to get more photos, but the reflections on the glass were terrible. I need to learn how to handle those.

As I said, the Tropics House was open:

The sea lions were swimming:


Berlin was roaming a bit (the polar bear habitat is HUGE!):


The river otters were playing:


And the birds were chillin’


The zoo is divided up into areas:


In Asia/the Tiger Trail there were only the aforementioned orangutans and some monkeys whose habitat is inside:

Australia had the snake house:

We wandered over the bridge to Africa, but alas no one was out there because of the cold. Still it was a nice walk and they have some great ambiance.

And I forgot to mention that in with the penguins (who are the big draw of the month) are some cool jellyfish:


As always, there are more photos in my flickr album.

So, final verdict? I thought it was great, and I’m looking forward to going back when its warm and everyone is out. All the animals I saw seemed happy and cared for, the grounds were well maintained and fun, and everyone was friendly. I don’t understand why this has bad reviews at all. Sure, it’s no Henry Dorley, but it’s not trying to be. I’d put it between Omaha’s and the Dickerson Zoo in Springfield (which is a very small one) because though this one is small-ish, it has some great, very modern exhibits,like the penguins, polar bears,  tropics building, and most of Africa for instance. It has good themed decor, plenty of great interactive areas for kids, including lots of photo stops and signs with tons of fun facts, and in warm weather there is a carousel, tram, and boat rides! If you’re in the area, it’s worth dropping in.

Have a river otter tummy kinda day!

Jo 🙂


About Joleene Naylor

An independent author, freelance artist, and photographer for fun who loves anime, music, and writing. Check out my vampire series Amaranthine at http://JoleeneNaylor.com or drop me a line at Joleene@JoleeneNaylor.com

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