Alameda Park Zoo in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Founded in 1898, the Alameda Park Zoo is located in Alamogordo, New Mexico and is the oldest zoo in the Southwestern United States. Situated at the end of Alameda Park, the zoo was initially created as a form of entertainment for train passengers who waited while trains were refueled. When the zoo was first opened, local residents gifted the zoo with exotic pets such as skunks, birds and raccoons. In the 1970's and 1980's, the original chain link fences that once served as cages were replaced. During the 1970's, the zoo became a rundown haven for drifters, faced with closing the zoo or upgrading the facilities, the city added perimeter fencing in 1986, to control access.

The Alameda Park Zoo is the smallest zoo to be accredited by the Association for Zoos and Aquariums, which means the zoo meets the rigorous criteria for high standards of animal care, education and conservation. The zoo is dedicated to a natural environment, education about the environment, recreation, biological research and conservation of local and global resources. Alameda Park Zoo strives to provide guests with the audio, visual and tactile means to understand the relationship between man and animals.

The Alameda Park Zoo is a twelve acre facility that has over 250 exotic and indigenous animals displayed in exhibits that simulate a natural environment. Notable species that can be found at the zoo include the Mexican Gray Wolf, the Hawaiian Goose, the Markhor Goat and the White Sands pupfish. Other more exotic species include African lions, cougars, bison and a wide variety of birds.

The zoo is unique in that it promotes the survival and breeding of the threatened Mexican Gray Wolf, and participates in a Species Survival Plan through its facilities. Since 1994, the zoo has had seven Mexican Gray Wolves born in captivity. As of 2006, the zoo had two Mexican Gray Wolves in residence and continues to be one of the leading research and breeding facilities for Mexican Gray Wolves in the Southwestern United States.

Alameda Park Zoo also has a bird of prey rehabilitation program. Each year the zoo receives a high number of injured and sick birds of prey. The zoo is devoted to healing and rehabilitating the birds, if well enough, the birds are then returned to the wild, if not, the birds are kept in the zoo for their own protection.

When visiting, guests are treated to educational and informative tours, programs and lectures that inform them about the 40+ exhibits contained at the zoo. Admission is free of charge and the zoo is a non-profit facility that relies on private donations and revenue from sales for its upkeep and maintenance costs. Each year, the zoo invites guests to take part in various festivals and activities that are geared towards conservation and recreation. The Alameda Park Zoo is dedicated to make learning and education fun for people of all ages.

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Jul 11, 2012 @ 10:10 am
correction required. zoo is not free of charge. see zoo site for fee schedule

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