Founded in 1926, by Spencer Penrose, philanthropist, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was started to house his growing collection of exotic animals. After substantial development in 1938, the zoo was incorporated as a non-profit public trust for the people of Colorado Springs. The Zoo has been very successful in transforming the experience of the visitor from the passive viewer and making them an active participant.
Constructed by Spencer Penrose and situated along the 1.4 miles from the zoo entrance, stands the Will Rogers Shrine. The shrine stands as a dedication to Will Rogers; Indian, cowboy, national figure and now famous legend. On the top deck, the shrine stands at an elevation of 8,138 feet and provides spectacular views of Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region.
Another cherished feature at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the Historic Carousel, a leftover remnant from the 1932 World's Fair. The carousel has been providing people of all ages with enjoyable rides since 1937. The fixture has been restored to its former glory and has become a permanent attraction at the zoo.
At the African Rift Valley area, guests are invited to check out the zoos famed giraffe herd and feed the giraffe's special crackers provided by the zoo. Up the walkway, stands a viewing tower and visitors can climb up and take in the marvelous views of Colorado Springs and far beyond. Beyond the hill is the elephant yard, where guests can view Okapi, which look like a hybrid of a horse and zebra, but are related to giraffes. On the way out of the African Rift Valley, guests can stop by the lion's lair and see African Lions.
While visiting the Aquatic Exhibit visitors will see hippos, African penguins and Komodo dragons. Through the back door of the Aquatic exhibit and across the courtyard is Primate World. Guests will come nose-to-nose with monkeys, orangutans and gorillas and can take a guided tour with a primate keeper.
My Big Back Yard fun land is a whimsical site featuring an animal contact area, tree house and an insect-themed playground, and misters in the summertime to keep guests cool and comfortable. Take a simulated trip to the Land Down Under and visit Australia Exhibit which features wallabies, kangaroos and hundreds of free-flying parakeets, cockatiels and Australian finches. Moving along, guests will then encounter the Bird and Reptile House, the exhibit showcases Asian fishing cats, marmosets, tamarins, monkeys, snakes, snakes and frogs.
The Mountain Wonders area contains native Colorado wildlife in a natural habitat. Guests can view mountain lions, river otters, grizzly bears and moose from the fire tower above. After visiting the Mountain Wonders area, guests are invited to venture into the Asian Highlands where Amur tigers roam the mountainside and leopards prowl among the treetops.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is opened all year round, during the summer months from 9 am until 6 pm, and during the winter season from 9 am until 4 pm. The zoo observes special holiday hours on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Years. The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo invites guests to explore the grounds and experience the wonderful world of animals in a way like never before.