|Location||Wichita, Kansas, US|
|Land area||247 acres (100 ha) |
|No. of animals||2,500|
|No. of species||500|
|Annual visitors||654,494 (2009)|
The Sedgwick County Zoo is an AZA-accredited wildlife park and major attraction in Wichita, Kansas. Founded in 1971 with the help of the Sedgwick County Zoological Society, the zoo has quickly become recognized both nationally and internationally for its support of conservation programs and successful breeding of rare and endangered species. Having over 2,500 animals of nearly 500 different species, the zoo has slowly increased its visitors and now ranks as the number one outdoor tourist attraction in the state.
Downing Gorilla Forest starts out in a recreation of a small Congo village with exhibits for De Brazza's monkey, colobus monkey, pink-backed pelican, and white pelican. Across a bridge is an exhibit for saddle-billed stork, as well as one for black crowned crane and okapi. The main attraction is a large gorilla exhibit. They can be viewed in their indoor home, outside through large viewing windows or across a moat.
A path winds around exhibits of lions, red river hogs, and two exhibits of meerkats. Each exhibit has several different views from all side. The whole area has a kopje theme, with giant boulders. At the end is an exhibit for African painted dogs.
Opened in 2007, Penguin Cove is the zoos first marine exhibit, and home to a colony of Humboldt penguins. The $1.5 million exhibit features a 42,000-US-gallon (159,000 l) pool with rocky areas and coves on each side.
This exhibit features bonteboks, reticulated giraffes, African bush elephants, hippos, and Eastern black rhinos. On March 11, 2016, six African elephants arrived at the zoo from Swaziland to escape a drought.
Tram tours are free and go throughout the zoo. Boat tours through the Africa and America sections are available for a fee.
The zoo is currently planning a new zoo entrance and a new elephant management complex for the future, as well as some new additions to the Amphibians and Reptiles building.