Wild Kingdom Train Zoo

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Wild Kingdom Train Zoo
Camel at Lagoon.JPG
Date opened 1967
Location Farmington, Utah, United States
Coordinates 40°59′00″N 111°53′32″W / 40.9834°N 111.8923°W / 40.9834; -111.8923Coordinates: 40°59′00″N 111°53′32″W / 40.9834°N 111.8923°W / 40.9834; -111.8923
No. of animals 40+
No. of species 15+

Wild Kingdom Train Zoo is a small zoo located in Lagoon Amusement Park, Farmington, Utah, United States. Visible when riding the Wild Kingdom Train, the zoo is located on the banks of a pond. In 1967 the Animaland Train opened, taking guests past the various animal exhibits.[1] The name of the attraction was changed around 1975 to the Wild Kingdom Train.[2] The park has advertised the zoo as the second-largest zoo in Utah.

Animal collection[edit]

Big cats exhibited in the zoo include Siberian tigers, a jaguar, and cougars. Other species include a brown bear, Grevy's zebra, llamas, golden eagle, camels, miniature donkey, addax, kangaroo, fallow deer, peccary, muntjac, Rocky Mountain elk, emus, ostriches and bison.[3][4] In addition to the regular exhibits at the zoo, many ducks and geese have made the zoo and the adjacent pond their home.

Wild Kingdom Train[edit]

The 2 ft (610 mm) narrow gauge[5] railway has two operating, steam-powered engines named Houston and Merriweather, and both were built by Crown Metal Products.[6] The Merriweather locomotive had previously been named Old Ironsides when it ran on a now-defunct separate railway of the same gauge in the park named Pioneer Village Railroad. When that railroad closed, Old Ironsides was made part of the Wild Kingdom Train and given its current name. Around the same time, one of the two other locomotives on the Wild Kingdom Train (also built by Crown) was taken out of service, put on static display, and re-themed to match the nearby Rattlesnake Rapids attraction complete with Rattlesnake Railroad livery on the tender (of course, there was never an actual railroad in the park with that name).[7]

Guests board the train at the train station located on the South Midway of the Lagoon Amusement Park. The train travels clockwise around a lagoon, through a tunnel, past the various exhibits, and ends back at the train station.

Some of the exhibits such as the Siberian tiger, zebras, fallow deer, and the kangaroos can be seen from various paths within the park. Currently, the buffalos can only be seen from outside the park along the Lagoon Trail. All of the exhibits except for the buffalos can be seen from the train.

Protests[edit]

The Utah Animal Rights Coalition (UARC) have stated that they are concerned with the living conditions of the animals in the zoo at Lagoon. They state that the animal cages, especially for the big cats are too small, and that most new amusement park zoos have larger habitats for the big cats. Even though the cages meet or exceed the minimum USDA standards and have passed inspections, the UARC would prefer to see these animals in a more natural and larger habitat.[8] The coalition organized a protest in July 2000 asking patrons of lagoon to boycott the park until the Wild Kingdom ride was shut down.[9]

Lagoon states that the park has met all of the strict regulations and has all of the required permits to run an animal park. Lagoon also disputes that the size of the animal cages are too small. Lagoon has no plans to close the zoo.[9] [1] In July 2016, two Utah teenagers started a petition in an effort to convince Lagoon to improve the living conditions of the animals.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wild Kingdom Train". http://Lagoonisfun.com. Archived from the original on September 1, 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-16.  External link in |work= (help)
  2. ^ "Wild Kingdom Train". http://Farmingtonstar.com. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  External link in |work= (help)
  3. ^ "Factsheets: Lagoon Corporation". www.wildlifepimps.com. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  4. ^ "Wild Kingdom Train". http://Lagoonpark.com. Retrieved 2008-01-15.  External link in |work= (help)
  5. ^ Crown Metal Products Locomotive Roster
  6. ^ Surviving Steam Locomotives in Utah
  7. ^ Steamlocomotive.info - Utah
  8. ^ Weist, Larry (2002). "Lagoon gets plea to give wild animals more space". Deseret News. Salt Lake City (published October 23).  Check date values in: |publication-date= (help); .
  9. ^ a b Cheney, Jacqueline (2000). "Group protests at Lagoon". Deseret News. Salt Lake City (published July 16).  Check date values in: |publication-date= (help); .
  10. ^ "Utah teens upset by treatment of animals at Lagoon start petition".