When visiting Scottsbluff, Nebraska, no vacation is complete without a stop at the Riverside Park and Zoo. The zoo is often referred to as "the best little zoo in the west'' and has lived up to that reputation by providing a comprehensive education on wildlife conservation, research, and recreation. The 22-acre zoo is situated along the North Platte River within a sprawling park filled with lush landscape, more than thirty gardens, and various animal exhibits throughout the grounds.
Riverside Park and Zoo is an American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) accredited zoo which means that the facility is dedicated to providing the highest care possible for its animals, a better future for all living creatures, and an excellent experience for visitors.
Riverside Park and Zoo is home to more than 200 animals consisting of 73 species that are both native and exotic. The zoo is constantly acquiring more animals and updating their habitats and exhibits to make sure that both the animals and visitors get the most from the experience. In addition to the various exhibits where visitors look on to the animals, there is also an aviary that visitors may walk through.
Aside from featuring a wide variety of animals and exhibits for the public to enjoy, Riverside Park and Zoo is an active member of the Survival Species Program (SSP) which means that many of the zoo's inhabitants are imperiled species. Additionally, the zoo is actively involved in the International Recovery and Management Committee for the Golden Headed Lion Tamarin (one of the rarest primates in the world). As an active member, Riverside Zoo features a breeding pair of Lion Tamarins who have recently produced their first offspring.
Another noteworthy feature of Riverside Park and Zoo is its collections of chimpanzees - one of the United States', if not the world's, most valuable collections. Other unique creatures that call the Chimpanzee Building and exhibit home include the naked mole rat, meerkats, American alligators, North African crested porcupines, and red-eared sliders. Three species of South American monkeys call Riverside Park and Zoo home and reside in the primate exhibit.
Visitors will enjoy viewing various species of waterfowl on the zoo's lakes and a wide range of other animals throughout the park. A partial list of other animals that call Riverside Park and Zoo home are moose, Bengal tigers, mountain lions, llamas, goats, emus, American bison, pronghorn antelope, and much, much more. The zoo also features a Children's Zoo where children of all ages may pet and feed animals.
Riverside Park and Zoo appeals to visitors of all ages and interests and allows entry for a modest fee. On Wednesdays, admission is just $1, which makes the zoo even more accessible for the public. In an effort to fund its various conservation efforts and care for the animals living there, Riverside Park and Zoo also offers the opportunity for people to "adopt'' their favorite animal for $25. This adoption comes with a full membership to the zoo and sponsorship for your favorite zoo creature. For more information on Riverside Park and Zoo, call 308-630-6236.