The Milwaukee County Zoo in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is home to over 3,000 animals that span over 200 wooded acres in habitats meant to inspire and educate visitors through interaction with wildlife and fun attractions for the entire family.

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About the zoo

The Milwaukee County Zoo began in 1892 in Washington Park as a small display of mammals and birds. Within a few short years, the zoo grew to being home to over 800 animals and had acquired 23 acres of land. The process of expansion never stopped with the zoo gaining Milwaukee County Park Commission Entity Status in 1934 and moving to its present location on 200 acres of wooded parkland near highways 94 and 45, in 1958.

With the move to the present location in 1958 came also the greatest expansion of the zoo. Over the next two decades a primate house, aquarium and reptile building, Monkey Island, and new habitats for different species of bears, felines, birds, small animals, the giraffes, and winter quarters for some animals were constructed. The 1970’s saw the children’s zoo, Dall Sheep Exhibit, gift shop, zoo hospital and other attractions open.

Since 1985, millions of dollars have been invested in the Milwaukee County Zoo to expand and renovate the habitats of the 3,300 animals from over 400 different species. Since the early 2000’s the zoo has added an Animal Health Center, Conservation Education Center, Stackner Animals Encounter Building, Birds of Prey Theater, a new front entrance mall, shops, eateries, and many other attractions that have made the Milwaukee County Zoo one of the best loved attractions for families in the area.

Animal Exhibits

Currently, the Milwaukee County Zoo is home to 3,100 animals representing 402 species from all over the world. There are 11 habitats that comprise the zoo with a map available online and at the ticket counter and in the gift shop.

Aquatic and Reptile Center- This indoor exhibit contains a 28,000-gallon aquarium with pacific coast marine life, a tank showcasing 30 different marine species that call Lake Wisconsin home, as well as many other fish, reptiles and amphibians such as Chinese Alligators, sea stars, snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs, sirens, and monitors.

Mahler Family Aviary- Birds of the world are found in the Herb and Nada Mahler family Aviary walkthrough exhibit from the Gentoo Penguin to King Vultures, White-bellied Storks, and even pigeons!

Humboldt Penguin Exhibit- Found just inside the entrance to the zoo, the Humboldt Penguins live in a 15,000-gallon freshwater tank that includes an underwater viewing area.

North America- The Harbor Seal is the featured animal in this exhibit that showcases animals from the North American continent such as the Alaskan Brown Bear and Reindeer.

Northwestern Mutual Family Farm- Visitors can get up close and personal in the Family Farm where some native Wisconsin and farm animals are available for educational interactions and petting.

Borchert Big Cat Country-One of the most popular exhibits, Big Cat Country is home to the African Lions, Amur Tigers, Cheetahs, Jaguars, and Snow Leopards, as well as some of the smaller of the feline family.

Africa/Asia/South America- Many of the animals featured in this habitat are only available for viewing during the summer due to their acclimation to a warm temperate environment such as the Tortoise, Tapir, Kudu, Plains Zebra and others. The elephants, camels, alpacas, giraffes, river hogs and rhinos are available for viewing all year round!

Stearns Family Apes of Africa- This exhibit features the Western Low Land Gorilla and Bonobo in an exclusive habitat just for these Apes.

Primates of the World- Primates from around the world are showcased in this exhibit that can be noisy and active. Spider Monkeys, Colobus’s, Macaques, Orangutans, and more live here.

Small Mammals- The smaller mammals of the zoo can be found in this indoor habitat that features smaller monkeys, bats, foxes, lemurs, and sugar gliders. The building is divided into a day and night side.

Winter Quarters- This is a special habitat designed for many of the mammals from the Africa/Asia/South America habitat that cannot live outdoors in the winter time. Animals are not on public display in this exhibit.

Educational Opportunities

Not only does the Milwaukee County Zoo offer many educational opportunities through interactive programs at the zoo such as animal feeding, Birds of Prey Show, Sea Lion and Seal Show, and Animals in Action which occur during zoo hours, the education department also has a full programming schedule of classes, summer camps, scouting programs, internships, field trip and educator resources, and volunteering opportunities that are part of their conservation and enrichment mission. Details and scheduling can be found on the Milwaukee County Zoo website.

10005 West Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, WI 53226, website, Phone: 414-771-3040

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