Binder Park Zoo

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Binder Park Zoo
Gibbon at Binder Park Zoo.
Date opened 1977
Location Battle Creek, Michigan, United States
Coordinates 42°14′47.26″N 85°09′18.08″W / 42.2464611°N 85.1550222°W / 42.2464611; -85.1550222Coordinates: 42°14′47.26″N 85°09′18.08″W / 42.2464611°N 85.1550222°W / 42.2464611; -85.1550222
Land area 433 acres (175 ha)[1]
Number of animals 600[1]
Number of species 140[1]
Memberships AZA,[2] WAZA[3]
Major exhibits Wild Africa
Website www.binderparkzoo.org

The Binder Park Zoo is a 433-acre (175 ha) zoo that opened in 1977 near Battle Creek, Michigan, in the United States. Binder Park Zoo is one of the largest zoos in Michigan, and features a large array of animals and plants, including the Wild Africa Exhibit. It includes a train, a tram, a carousel, and Wildlife Discovery Theatre.

The Binder Park Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).

Exhibits[edit]

Main Zoo Area[edit]

The main zoo area features animal exhibits including prairie dogs, a new snow leopard exhibit with a Viewing Area and Interpretive Center inside a Yurt, cheetahs, red panda, Wild Horses, and red kangaroo. Also located in the main zoo is the Miller Children's Zoo, gift shop, Z.O. & O. Railroad station, the Binda Conservation Center, a restaurant, a 0.8-mile (1.3 km) habitat boardwalk called Swamp Adventure, and the new Conservation Carousel.

The Conservation Carousel opened in 2007, and includes various popular zoo animals such as a polar bear, a tiger, and a bronco; the latter paying homage to the nearby Western Michigan University.

Miller Children's Zoo[edit]

Binder Park Zoo features an award winning exhibit aimed at children in which many of the animals can be interacted with. Children's Zoo features goats, llamas, sheep and other small domestic animals. There is also a small dinosaur area with a large brachiosaurus sculpture and play areas.

Giraffe feeding in Wild Africa

Wild Africa[edit]

The Wild Africa Exhibit at Binder Park Zoo is a permanent exhibit featuring giraffes, zebras, ostriches, stork, and antelope. This award winning exhibit allows the animals to roam, cage free, in an 18-acre (7.3 ha), savanna-like setting, very similar to how they might be viewed in the wild. To get a closer view, there is a one way, 0.8-mile (1.3 km) loop that begins and ends in a small African themed village, selling souvenirs and food and beverages. The trail itself is themed to resemble a trail inside an African National Park complete with a ranger station and fake poachers. Along the trail there is an opportunity to feed giraffes at the Twiga Overlook. Park visitors view the giraffes from a raised platform that places them at eye level with the animals. Leaves of romaine lettuce that are available for purchase can be placed in the palm of your hand where the giraffes will retrieve them with their 18-inch (460 mm) tongues. Other species are included in savanna settings, a walk-through aviary, and other small exhibits. Some of which include African Wild Dogs, Colobus Monkeys & Black Mangabeys, and a forest farm featuring several African Domestic Animals.

The Wild Africa Exhibit is located away from the main zoo exhibits at the west end, accessible by a free Zebra-patterned tram, or a 0.5-mile (0.80 km) walking path.

Special guests[edit]

In 2003, two koalas from the San Diego Zoo, were brought to Binder Park Zoo from May to September in 2003, along with games and activities with an Australian culture twist.

In 2006 "Crunch," a 150 year old, 165 lb Alligator Snapping Turtle was on exhibit at Binder Park Zoo at the Conservation Discovery Center building from Memorial day to Labor day. The turtle is in the care of the Blackwater Turtle Refuge.

During the summer of 2008 there were numerous births at the zoo to animals that are or have been listed as endangered species. In June there was the birth of a female Snow Leopard cub and three Trumpeter Swan cygnets. This was followed by the August birth of a female Addra Gazelle.

Events[edit]

Each June the zoo hosts a 5k run called the Cheetah Chase. Participants can choose between a 5k run, 5k walk, or a fun run for those 10 and under. The race course winds through the zoo and offers panoramic views of the African savannah along the way.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "About the Zoo". binderparkzoo.org. Binder Park Zoo. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". aza.org. AZA. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Animals". binderparkzoo.org. Binder Park Zoo. Retrieved 20 May 2010. 

External links[edit]