Visit the Detroit Zoo!

The Detroit Zoo has had its share of troubles in recent years, from the loss of elephants Wanda and Winky to nearly being shut down due to a lack of funds. The former situation outraged Detroiter’s, but fortunately the Detroit Zoo’s doors are still open, minus Wanda and Winky who were given to a zoo in California. However, there are still many great animals and attractions to see during the summer, as well as the winter.

My favorite destination at the Detroit Zoo is the Penguinarium. The Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in the U.S. to build a facility exclusively for penguins. The Detroit Zoo exhibits four species of penguins: king, rockhopper, macaroni, and blue penguins. Each exhibit is modeled after the natural habititat of the penguins. For example, the blue penguin exhibit has nesting cavities built into the rockwork. The environments are cased behind glass so that you can view them plunging down into the water and swimming or shaking off on a rock. The Detroit Zoo is one of the few zoos featuring a penguin exhibit.

Tigers, lions and zebras! Oh my! And there’s plenty of them here. The Detroit Zoo features a long line of Siberian tigers that were born at the zoo, who have rocks and grassy areas, a stream and pool and a waterfall to enjoy. The lions exhibit has a moated enclosure for safety and a simulated cliff-face that the lions can climb and jump from. Native African Grevy zebras are housed in the African Veldt, which is a culmination of four exhibit areas that hold 7 different species of animals. Grevy zebras are an endangered species. One of the zoo’s main goals is to conserve and preserve endangered animals, including tigers, elephants, zebras and other wildlife.

The aforementioned exhibits aren’t the only ones, but rather the “main attractions”. However, the Detroit Zoo also has a beautiful butterfly garden and exhibits of Snow monkeys, Rhinos, various birds, Mardigian Rive otters, Great Apes of Harambee, farm animals, a giraffe house, and a museum of reptiles. Other attractions are: Amphibiville (a 2-acre wetland teeming with bullfrogs and other wildlife, and it is home of the National Amphibian Conservation; state-of-the-art facility for amphibian conservation and research), The Artic Ring of Life (features, but is not limited to, a 70-foot-long clear tunnel that winds through a vast underwater marine environment. This Polar Passage, which is a twelve-foot-wide, eight-foot-tall tunnel, takes visitors underneath diving and swimming polar bears and seals), Australian Outback Adventure (a winding path bordered by knee-high cables on both sides, while the kangaroos will be free to bound wherever they want and interactive learning opportunities). There is also a Wild Adventure Simulator show, similar to IMAX, which currently plays 5 different simulated movies.

There are so many different exhibits and attractions at the Detroit Zoo to fill an entire day. That’s a lot of walking, but to alleviate that, there is a railroad going throughout the zoo to take you to the further reaches.

The current rates for the Detroit Zoo is affordable: $11 for adults (13-61), $7 for children (2-12), $9 for Seniors and kids under 2 get in free. It’s $5 to park (or $8 for buses). Strollers, wagons, wheelchairs and Electric Convenience Vehicles are all available for rent to make getting around the zoo easier. The zoo also offers special rates for groups and schools. The zoo is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

For more information about the Detroit Zoo, call their 24-Hour Information Tape:(248) 398-0900 or Phone: (248) 398-0903 OR go to

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