Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo logo.png
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Logo
Ch mtn zoo giraffes 2003.jpg
Three members of the zoo's large giraffe herd
Date opened 1926
Location Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA
Coordinates 38°46?12?N 104°51?18?W / 38.77°N 104.855°W / 38.77; -104.855Coordinates: 38°46?12?N 104°51?18?W / 38.77°N 104.855°W / 38.77; -104.855
Land area 140 acres (57 ha) (40 acres (16 ha) in use)[1]
No. of animals 750[1]
No. of species 150[1]
Memberships AZA[2]

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is America's ONLY AZA-accredited mountain zoo. It is located southwest of downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Cheyenne Mountain in the United States and has an elevation of 6,800 feet (2,100 m) above sea level. The zoo covers 140 acres (57 ha), 40 (16 ha) of which are in use. It is located west of The Broadmoor resort along the slopes of Cheyenne Mountain's lower north end. The animal collection includes more than 750 animals, representing nearly 150 different species, with more than 30 endangered species.[1]

Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun. Entrance is included with zoo admission.


The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was founded in 1926 by philanthropist, Spencer Penrose to house his growing collection of exotic animals. In 1938, after substantial development, Penrose incorporated the Zoo as a non-profit public trust to the people of Colorado Springs. This trust was deemed "for the sole purpose of establishing and maintaining a zoological park to provide recreation, education, conservation and scientific facilities in the field of zoology and related subjects, and to preserve the Zoo in perpetuity for the people of the Pikes Peak region."[3]

As an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of only a handful of Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos in the country that does not receive local or regional public tax support, nearly 100 percent of the Zoo's income is generated from earned revenues, gate admissions, gifts, membership dues, donations, and corporate sponsors and grants.[4]


One of the many Reticulated giraffes at the zoo. Giraffe feeding has been a tradition at the zoo for decades.

African Rift Valley

Located near the main entrance and gift shop, the African Rift Valley exhibit houses the zoo's Reticulated giraffe herd as well as African lions, Grant's zebra, Okapi, Red river hogs, meerkats, Black-and-white colobus monkeys, Cape vultures, and Crowned crane. The Reticulated giraffe herd is the largest in the United States.[5]

An Amur tiger in the Asian Highlands exhibit.

Asian Highlands

Resting on the Western mountainside, Asian Highlands exhibits Amur tigers, Amur leopards, Snow leopards, and Pallas' cats.[5]


The Aquatics building houses Nile hippopotamuses, African penguins, beavers, and Burmese pythons. Also inside the building is the "Leaping to the Rescue" exhibit with multiple amphibian species on display including the critically endangered Wyoming toad. Aquatics also houses a collection of fish living in a variety of aquariums.[5]

Making Waves

The subject of the zoo's next capital campaign, Making Waves will feature a new filtration system which will decrease water use. Guests will be able to view the hippos underwater. A new building will be constructed for the hippos along with a separate building and outdoor exhibit for African penguins.[6]

Guests can interact with the free-roaming wallabies

Australia Walkabout

Renovated and reopened in 2015, guests are able to walk along with free-ranging Red-necked wallabies inside their exhibit. Located here is Budgie Buddies, an aviary that houses the zoo's parakeet and cockatiel collection. Guests can hand-feed the birds. The rest of the area exhibits Emu, American alligators, and Matschie's tree kangaroo.[5]

Bear Grottos

Andean (Spectacled) Bears and Asiatic black bears live in two moated exhibits with large trees and pools with a waterfall entering both exhibits.[5]

Two of the zoo's six African elephants. The exhibit features many paddocks and yards for the elephants including a sand-filled stall and a demonstration yard.
A Black rhinoceros in his exhibit. The exhibit features a crashed bush plane that guests and children can enter and view the rhino from.

Encounter Africa

Opened at a cost of $13.5 million, the Encounter Africa exhibit is home to African elephants, Black rhinoceros, and more viewing of the meerkats and African lions. A sky bridge gives panoramic views of the city of Colorado Springs.[5]

Monkey Pavilion

In 1995, the zoo demolished the old monkey house and transferred the animals to their new home in what is today called the Monkey Pavilion. Originally opened in 1942 to house the big cats, the Monkey Pavilion exhibits a variety of the zoo's smaller primate and mammal species. Inside, guests can view; Black-crested mangabeys, Goeldi's monkeys, Geoffrey's marmosets, Black howler monkeys, White-cheeked gibbons, Lar gibbons, Coatimundi, Black and white ruffed lemurs, Ring-tailed lemurs, Wolf's guenon, Sykes' guenon, and Hoffmann's two-toed sloths.[5]

My Big Backyard

Many species of domesticated animals including Chickens, Goats, Koi, and Rabbits can be seen here.[5]

Primate World

Primate World is the home to many of the larger primate species at the zoo, and features indoor and outdoor enclosures. The building was originally built in the 1960s and renovated in the 1990s. Primate World houses Sumatran and Bornean Orangutans, Western lowland gorillas, Siamangs, Golden lion tamarins and Naked mole rats.[5]

A Mexican gray wolf in the Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit.

Rocky Cliffs

Mountain goats can be see from above and below the cliffs nestled between a switchback road.[5]

Rocky Mountain Wild

Costing the zoo $8.2 million, Rocky Mountain Wild houses Moose, North American porcupines, Mexican gray wolves, Mountain lions, Canada lynx, River otters, Bald eagles, and Grizzly bears.[5]

Scutes Family Gallery

Built in the 1940s as the Bird and Reptile House, Scutes Family Gallery was refurbished to resemble a modern art museum. Over 40 species of turtles, snakes and lizards are portrayed in natural environments.[5]

A Mountain tapir in its new exhibit built in 2015.


Rare Mountain (Wooly) tapirs are featured in a new exhibit opened in late 2015. The zoo's tapirs were housed away from the public in 2012 due to the construction of Encounter Africa. Only two zoos in the United States have mountain tapirs - Los Angeles Zoo and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. There are only seven tapirs between the two zoos, and Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has the only proven breeding female.[5]

The Loft

Lessons on how to prepare diets, medications and enrichment are offered throughout the day. Various small mammal, reptile, amphibian and invertebrate species can be seen here including the endangered black-footed ferret.[5]


The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is a leader in conservation and protects endangered species through both in-house, regional and global conservation programs. The Zoo breeds animals such as the black-footed ferret, mountain tapir, Wyoming toad and Mexican grey wolf to ensure their future survival. To prevent the extinction of birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo participates in more than 30 cooperative Species Survival Plan programs.[7]

Quarters for Conservation

Quarters for Conservation is an initiative that takes $0.75 from each admission, in order to fund new and existing wildlife conservation projects.[8]

Rides/Other attractions

A view of Colorado Springs from the Mountaineer Sky Ride


The c. 1925 Allan Herschell Company carousel, active at the Zoo since 1937, recently went under a restoration project that concluded in 2016.[9]

Mountaineer Sky Ride

For a fee, this open-air, ski lift style ride takes guests above the Mountain goat, Grizzly bear and Amur tiger exhibits. Guests are then dropped off in an area west of the zoo not accessible by walking and ride round trip back down.[9]

Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun

Admission to the zoo includes access to the Cheyenne Mountain Highway and Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Cheyenne Mountain Zoo 'America's Mountain Zoo' 2010 Fact Sheet" (PDF). Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Retrieved 2010. 
  2. ^ "Currently Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". AZA. Retrieved 2010. 
  3. ^ "About The Zoo - History". Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. 2010-08-01. Archived from the original on 2010-08-01. Retrieved . 
  4. ^ "Cheyenne Mountain Zoo - Non-Profit Status". Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. 2010-07-25. Archived from the original on 2010-07-25. Retrieved . 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Animal Exhibits". CMZoo. Retrieved 2015. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ a b "Rides & Attractions". CMZoo. Retrieved 2015. 


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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