There are more than 170 different species of animals at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo housed in 15 different exhibits. These exhibits are: African Rift Valley, Aquatics, Asian Highlands, Australian Walkabout, Bears, Encounter Africa, Leaping to the Rescue, Monkey Pavilion, My Big Backyard, Primate World, Rocky Cliffs, Rocky Mountain Wild, Scutes Family Gallery, Tapirs, and The Loft.
Each exhibit offers its own special experience for visitors, some even allow hand-feeding and up-close encounters. One of the most popular exhibits for children at the zoo is My Big Backyard where they can climb and play are over-sized chairs, mushrooms, and ants. A petting zoo containing small animals are also in this area for the children to mingle with, including rabbits, chickens, a pot-bellied pig, and even a tarantula. There is also a life-like wooden cabin and a tree house for them to climb and enjoy the view.
There are all kinds of rides and attractions for every member of the family at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Including the working Carousel, the Mountaineer Sky Ride, Budgie Birdie Feeding, Animal Encounters, and the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun.
Many of the attractions include up-close-and-personal experience with the wildlife, like The Loft, which actually allows visitors to experience what it's like to be a zookeeper. Visitors can also walk through the aviary to feed free-flying birds in the Australian Walkabout. Brightly-colored birds, including the budgie (Australian parakeets) will eat right out of visitor's hands while enjoying them in their natural habitat.
A visit to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun is including in the zoo admission price. The historic monument is a pleasant 1.4 mile hike up the Russell Tutt Scenic Highway. It was built by Penrose in memory of Will Rogers who died in a plane crash in 1935. It is elevated at a whopping 8,136 feet and provides a breath-taking view of Colorado Springs and the surrounding Pikes Peak Region.
With advanced reservations, guests can schedule animal encounters that they may have only previously dreamed of. Some of the animals available for you to meet include: Amur tiger, Bears (Grizzly or spectacled), Black rhinoceros, Black-footed ferret, Elephants, Giraffes, Hippo, Meerkats, Moose, Orangutan, Ring-tailed lemurs, Penguins, Sloth, and Zebra. However, if there is an animal that you have always dreamed of meeting, the zoo will take your request and see what they can do to make that happen.
One of the most interesting animal encounters would have to be the Orangutan. This encounter incudes a side-by-side painting session with the primates (weather permitting). Costs can vary and reservations must be made at least one week ahead of time.
There are endless animals, exhibits, and attractions available to delight every member of the family. Excitement, fun, and education is perfectly intertwined at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
Photo: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo