The Lake Superior Zoo is located in Fairmount Park and sits on over 16 acres at the bottom of Spirit Mountain in West Duluth. The majestic pines and pleasing Kingsbury Creek makes for a perfect zoological setting.
The Zoo had its beginning in 1923 with its first resident being a white-tailed deer called Billy. By 1930 there were over 200 animals, reptiles and birds. The Zoo survived during the depression era. Many of the structures built in the early days of the Zoo are still being utilized today. The Zoo continued growing into the 1940's where it's estimated over 200,000 visitors were entertained annually.
The Zoological Park today serves as the home domicile to hundreds of native animals and species from abroad species. Residents on site in recent times include Alaskan grizzly bear, Kodiak bear, polar bear, African Lions, cougars and Siberian tigers just to name of few residents. The central building, built in 1927, houses the Tiger's Paw Gift Shop, the Safari Cafy, and the Siberian tiger viewing platform. The Griggs Learning Center houses outreach animals for instructive purposes.
Feeding time is one of the most popular events taking place daily. Children enjoy feeding and interacting with the neighborhood llama, donkey and pigmy goat. The polar bear exhibit is another well-liked location.
While exploring the 16 acre preserve visitors will want to stop by the Primate Conservation Center to take in the antics of the resident primates. Residents include cotton topped tamarins, Angolan colobus monkeys, as well as other endangered primate species. The Nocturnal section is home to bats of different varieties, sloths, South American porcupines and others.
The Northern Territory sector is the domicile to the Alaskan Grizzly bear and the rare Pere David Deer. A little farther up the trail guests of the Zoo will come across the African lion den.
The Australian Connections offers a wide variety of species from kookaburras and kangaroos to beautifully color exotic birds and a large salt water aquarium loaded with barrier reef fish.
Be sure to stop by The Tiger's Paw Gift Shop located near the entrance to the park. The shop is open daily year round. The Safari Cafy is open daily during the summer months. The Zoo enclosure is open every day of the year with the exception of New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
Unfortunately, since the Animal Care Center was built, little investment has been made by the City to keep the zoo in good operating condition. Duluth residents truly value having the zoo in their community and the city has developed a new campaign to save their zoo.Local community organizations have stepped up efforts to strengthen support for renovations to the park. The Zoological Society's Board of Directors is now operating the facility while efforts to generate funding are undertaken by the City of Duluth. Once developed to its full potential the park will have a larger educational impact serving the residents of Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The zoo's leadership is asking for the public's input on how to improve the attraction not only for the patrons but for the animals as well. Zoo workers have already started on some projects including renovating their aged tiger deck.
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