Sedgwick County Zoo

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Sedgwick County Zoo
Date opened 1971[1]
Location Wichita, Kansas, US
Coordinates 37°42′57″N 97°24′37″W / 37.7158°N 97.4104°W / 37.7158; -97.4104Coordinates: 37°42′57″N 97°24′37″W / 37.7158°N 97.4104°W / 37.7158; -97.4104
Land area 247 acres (100 ha) [2]
Number of animals 2,500[3]
Number of species 500[3]
Annual visitors 654,494 (2009)[1]
Memberships AZA[4]

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.


African village-themed area at the entrance to Downing Gorilla Forest
Downing Gorilla Forest

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.

Pride of the Plains

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.

Cessna Penguin Cove
Penguin Cove

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.[3]

See Eye to Eye with Giraffes

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.[5]

Tiger Trek

This $3 million Asian themed naturalistic exhibit was opened in 2009, and houses Amur tigers, Malayan tigers, red pandas, bar-headed geese, brow-antlered deer, and more.[citation needed]


Tram tours are free and go throughout the zoo. Boat tours through the Africa and America sections are available for a fee.

The future[edit]

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.[1]


  • On May 6, 2011, a first-grade student on a class field trip climbed over a four-foot fence then crossed the eight-foot gap of the Amur leopard exhibit. The boy was attacked. He suffered lacerations and puncture wounds to his head and neck before a bystander kicked the leopard in the head. The injuries were not considered life-threatening, and the zoo did not euthanize the endangered animal.[6]


  1. ^ a b c "A Zoo to be Proud Of". Sedgwick County Zoo. Retrieved 11 September 2010. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b c Stokes, Keith. "Sedgwick County Zoo". Kansas Travel and Tourism. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  4. ^ "List of Accredited Zoos and Aquariums". AZA. Retrieved 5 September 2010. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Finger, Stan. "Sedgwick County Zoo leopard attacks boy through cage". The Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 

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