A wide variety of animals have been brought in from all over the world here to our Mile High State. That is good news for animal lovers who want to see and find out more about these beautiful creatures. No matter what zoo you choose, it is a great place to go to spend the day with the whole family. Make sure to bring your sunscreen and comfortable shoes for your walk on the wild side.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
Lions and tigers and bears… Oh, my! If you have a wild child, then heading to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo might be just the thing to tame their restless spirit. Here they have a wide range of animals to meet and feed, from elephants and giraffes in the Africa Rift to kangaroos and marsupials in the Australia Walkabout. Hang with the orangutans or pet some farm animals. Head to The Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit and climb the three-story fire tower, or get up close with grizzly bears, mountain lions, otters and more. Get hands-on at The Loft and help take care of and feed the animals. Ask about the custom animal experience as well. Check out the historic carousel. Then, ride on the Mountaineer Sky Ride for an overview. Your admission grants you access to climb the nearby Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun with its breathtaking views. The zoo is located at 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd. in Colorado Springs. For more information, visit www.cmzoo.org.
The Denver Zoo is the perfect place to bring the whole family. They can see lions, tigers, rhinos, giraffes, gorillas and more. In fact, there are more than 3,000 animals to see on their 84-acre campus. If you or your children are into Marine life, make sure to visit Stingray Cove, where you cannot only see what lives in the sea, but you can touch it as well. Get really interactive with a 4-D theater experience. Take a ride on the wild side aboard the Denver Zoo railroad. Then jump on the Conservation Carousel. If you want a more in depth interaction with animals, ask about “Up-Close Looks,” where you have a meet-and-greet with sloths, llamas, giraffes, elephants and more. Sign up for their free zoo days, which they offer through a lottery system. The Denver Zoo is located at 2300 Steele St., in Denver. For more information, visit www.denverzoo.org.
Wild Animal Sanctuary
If you really want to feel like you are experiencing animals in their native environment, check out The Wild Animal Sanctuary. Established in 1980, the sanctuary includes 10,500 acres of natural habitats. The area has rocks, trees, hills, canyons, buttes and more for the animals to enjoy. Their facilities are the largest such sanctuaries for carnivores in the world. They have two in Colorado and one in Texas. You will be walking on more than 1.5 miles of elevated walkways to view the residents here. The facility hosts more than 600 rescued animals including tigers, African lions, black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, leopards, wolves, hyenas, camels, horses and more. In the summertime, when the animals change their sleeping patterns, you can stay and see the animals at night. The Wild Animal Sanctuary is located at 2999 Co Rd 53 in Keenesburg. For more information, visit www.wildanimalsanctuary.org.
Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center
Whether you were team Jacob after watching “Twilight” and fell in love with werewolves or have always loved the mysterious beauty of wolves, you will love this wildlife center. The Standard Tour allows you to see wolves, coyote and fox and learn more, but if you really are a fan, check out their meet and greet encounter and go into the enclosure to take pictures. For the ultimate experience, get a VIP Encounter with either wolves or their high-energy coyote/dog named Ringo. A photographer will capture the experience for you. They also have a similar experience with a pair of singing dogs or a fox. To see the animals go wild, check out the feeding tour where you learn about them and watch them eat. Whichever encounter you choose, you are sure to feel like one of the pack. The center is located at 4729 Twin Rocks Rd. in Divide. For more information, visit www.wolfeducation.org.