AAA Editor Notes
Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium is at 500 W. Sunshine St., next to Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World. The museum stresses the importance of conserving natural resources and honors the nation's hunting and fishing heritage. Interactive exhibits with computer simulators, 160 species of live animals and aquariums totaling 700,000 gallons of water depict man's relationship with his surroundings.
The habitats of North America are explored, beginning with Walk in the Woods, where visitors progress through an Ozark woods along a suspended walkway while being serenaded by geese, doves and quails. Galleries on the lower level feature a viewing window providing underwater perspectives of freshwater pond inhabitants.
Installed binoculars positioned along the way provide glimpses of waterfowl and game birds. In the Ozark Hills habitat a waterfall cascades over a ledge amid limestone bluffs and caves that surround a pond inhabited by beavers and freshwater fish, while otters can be seen frolicking in their own pool.
Live bats, salamanders and blind cavefish are some of the inhabitants of Tumbling Creek Cave, and freshwater habitats are the focus in the Rivers and Streams gallery. Other exhibits throughout the museum explain the role hunting and fishing play in the preservation of America's outdoor resources.
The 225,000-gallon tank in the Out to Sea Gallery has a ceiling-high window separating visitors from various marine creatures.
CLOSURE INFORMATION: The site is closed through spring of 2016 due to an expansion and renovation project. Phone ahead to verify hours of operation and admission upon reopening.
Picnicking is permitted. Food is available. Time: Allow 1 hour minimum.