Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium
|Date opened||November 1, 2001|
|Location||Springfield, Missouri, USA|
|No. of species||225|
The American National Fish and Wildlife Museum, doing business as Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium, also known as Wonders of Wildlife Zooquarium or just Wonders of Wildlife in Springfield, Missouri, showcases more than 225 species of live animals, fresh and saltwater aquariums, interactive displays and educational programs. The 92,000-square-foot (8,500 m2) facility, designed by Cambridge Seven Associates, opened on November 2, 2001. The attraction closed in December 2007, with the announcement of a planned expansion that would have increased the square footage of the facility by 58 percent, at a cost of $25 million. Subsequently, museum representatives have announced a much more ambitious expansion, at a cost of about $80 million. They expected to open the Conservation Education Center by the end of December 2011, with the rest of the museum planned to be open by December 2012.
As of March 2017, the museum is planned to reopen on September 21, 2017 as America's Wildlife Museum & Aquarium. Additions to the planned museum include the incorporation of the International Game Fish Association Hall of Fame, currently based in Dania Beach, Florida, and the display of the Boone and Crockett Club's North American Heads and Horns Collection of big game mounts, currently housed at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming.
Wonders of Wildlife is a result of intensive lobbying campaign and financial support of John Morris, founder of Bass Pro Shops. He campaigned and lobbied for the ballot initiative that funded the $52,000,000.00 cost of building the museum and the creation of a museum district to oversee the planning, design, and construction of the museum. An agreement with the City of Springfield allows a portion of the city's hotel-motel tax to be used for capital projects. This project also received $1.5 million in federal appropriations.
After receiving public backlash for using public funds on the project, Morris returned the money he received for the project, and used personal funds to finish the project.
The museum replicates the native Ozark habitat and serves as home to many Missouri wildlife species.
Out to Sea Gallery
The "Out to Sea" exhibit features a 21-foot (6.4 m) deep, 225,000-US-gallon (850,000 l) aquarium. It houses sharks, rays, and a variety of other tropical fish.
- "American National Fish & Wildlife Museum (Wonders of Wildlife)". Cambridge Seven Associates. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
- "Environmental Excellence: Welcome to our newest neighbor" (PDF). Springfield-Greene County Steering Committee. Winter 2002. Retrieved 2010-11-09.
- Williams, Jessica (2011-06-04). "Wonders of Wildlife: What's Taking So Long?". OzarksFirst.com. Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- "New name, bigger vision for Wonders of Wildlife". Springfield News-Leader. March 19, 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
- "89th General Assembly: L8005.04T 1998". Missouri House of Representatives. 1998. Retrieved 2011-07-26.
- Bridges, Amos (2011-07-25). "City of Springfield gets better credit rating". News-Leader.com. Retrieved 2011-07-26.
- Bond, Christopher (2001-11-01). "Letter from Senator Bond to Wonders of Wildlife". U.S. Senate. Archived from the original on 2010-12-05. Retrieved 2011-06-05.
- McEowen, Bob (November 2001). "Wonders — Wild & Alive". Rural Missouri. Retrieved 2007-03-06.
- "Wonders of Wildlife: Design and Construction Update for City of Springfield" (PDF, 23 MB). American National Fish and Wildlife Museum Board of Directors. 2009-10-13. p. 23. Retrieved 2010-05-08.