Little Rock Zoo
The Little Rock Zoo has over 725 animals representing over 200 species, and features a Children's Farm (temporarily closed), the Safari Terrace Café, the historic Spillman Engineering Over the Jumps Carousel, Safari Trader Gift Shop, old-fashioned ice cream parlor, and miniature train rides.
The zoo had modest beginnings. When the zoo opened in 1926 it had only two animals: a timber wolf and a brown bear. Not to worry, though, because now the zoo is the only public one in Arkansas and is accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. The zoo offers all that can be expected from a zoo, including elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions, tigers, monkeys, apes, and even their newest addition, sloth bear cubs (as of December 26, 2004). The female gorilla Trudy is more than fifty years old.
A Works Progress Administration-era big cat house has been transformed into a full-service restaurant called Café Africa, a new attraction called Lorikeet Landing is now open, and an African Veldt addition is under construction.
The Little Rock Zoo is not just a place to look at and pet pretty animals. It is also highly involved in conservation efforts. The zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan, which allows zoos to have endangered species so that they can both preserve the species and educate people about those that are endangered. Among the endangered species at the Little Rock Zoo are a Black Rhinoceros, Lowland Gorillas, Siamangs, Siberian Tigers, Red Panda, and Red-ruffed Lemurs. The Little Rock Zoo also supports the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, AZA Bear TAG - Alaska Brown Bear Project, Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust, Bushmeat Crisis Task Force, Cheetah Conservation Fund, Chiquitano Forest Conservation Program, Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, International Elephant Foundation, International Otter Colloquium, and many more conservation projects. A full list can be found at Little Rock Zoo Conservation Efforts.
Hours and Ticket Prices
The Little Rock Zoo is located on thirty-three acres of land at #1 Jonesboro Drive near War Memorial Stadium. From October first to March thirty-first, the zoo is open from 9:00 am - 4:30 pm. From April first to September thirtieth, the zoo is open from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. The zoo only closes on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Ticket prices are $8.00 for adults (13+), $6.00 for children (1-12) and senior citizens, $4.00 each for groups (ticket reservations must be made ten days in advance and at least fifteen people must be in the group), and infants attend for free. If you visit the zoo often and want to save money while also helping the zoo, you can become a member. Membership information can be found here: Little Rock Zoo Memberships.