AAA Editor Notes
Minnesota Zoo is off SR 77 at 13000 Zoo Blvd., just s. of the Mall of America. This 485-acre facility takes full advantage of its Minnesota prairie and hardwood forest setting with habitats that replicate entire ecosystems and provide a home for more than 4,700 animals.
In addition to beavers, black bears, wolverines, lynx and river otters, there are five wolves. At the Wells Fargo Family Farm, located on the Northern Trail, visitors can experience a working farm and learn about agricultural food production. The trail is also home to caribou, Amur tigers, musk oxen, Bactrian camels and other animals native to cold climates. In contrast, the Tropics Trail's lush rain forest backdrop is inhabited by playful lemurs, inquisitive gibbons, agile tree kangaroos and colorful bird species.
Discovery Bay features a shark reef and an interactive estuary and tide pool where you can touch sharks, sea stars and sea anemones. Massive brown bears roam among steaming geysers and bubbling mud pots at Russia's Grizzly Coast, a wilderness habitat that also features sea otters, Amur leopards and wild boars. At Penguins of the African Coast you can watch these birds swim, feed and nest.
The popular Wings Financial World of Birds Show presents exotic and native birds in flight, while the Close Encounters program encourages interaction with zookeepers and animals through hands-on demonstrations. Also featured is an exhibit devoted to the highly-endangered Hawaiian monk seal. Other seasonal highlights include Hanifl's Family Wild Woods, Wells Fargo Family Farm (March to November), Central Plaza's splash pad, Woodland Adventure Playground and the Conservation Carousel.
Food is available. Time: Allow 4 hours minimum.