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The Binder Park Zoo is a 433-acre (175 ha) zoo that opened in 1977 near Battle Creek, Michigan, in the United States. Binder Park Zoo is one of the largest zoos in Michigan, and features a large array of animals and plants, including the Wild Africa Exhibit. It includes a train, a tram, a carousel, and Wildlife Discovery Theatre.
The Binder Park Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).
Main Zoo Area
The main zoo area features animal exhibits including prairie dogs, a new snow leopard exhibit with a Viewing Area and Interpretive Center inside a Yurt, red panda, Wild Horses, and red kangaroo. Also located in the main zoo is the Miller Children’s Zoo, gift shop, Z.O. & O. Railroad station, the Binda Conservation Center, a restaurant, a 0.8-mile (1.3 km) habitat boardwalk called Swamp Adventure, and the new Conservation Carousel.
The Conservation Carousel opened in 2007, and includes various popular zoo animals such as a polar bear, a tiger, and a bronco; the latter paying homage to the nearby Western Michigan University.
The Main Zoo Area used to house cheetahs, but now they were moved to Wild Africa, where they replaced the African Wild Dogs, who then moved to across from the Zoo’s Mexican Grey Wolf exhibit.
Miller Children’s Zoo
Binder Park Zoo features an award winning exhibit aimed at children in which many of the animals can be interacted with. Children’s Zoo features goats, llamas, sheep, and other small domestic animals. There is also a small dinosaur area with a large brachiosaurus sculpture and play areas.
The Wild Africa Exhibit at Binder Park Zoo is a permanent exhibit featuring giraffes, zebras, ostriches, stork, and antelope. This award winning exhibit allows the animals to roam, cage free, in an 18-acre (7.3 ha), savanna-like setting, very similar to how they might be viewed in the wild. To get a closer view, there is a one way, 0.8-mile (1.3 km) loop that begins and ends in a small African themed village, selling souvenirs and food and beverages. The trail itself is themed to resemble a trail inside an African National Park complete with a ranger station and fake poachers. Along the trail there is an opportunity to feed giraffes at the Twiga Overlook. Park visitors view the giraffes from a raised platform that places them at eye level with the animals. Leaves of romaine lettuce that are available for purchase can be placed in the palm of your hand where the giraffes will retrieve them with their 18-inch (460 mm) tongues. Other species are included in savanna settings, a walk-through aviary, and other small exhibits. Some of which include African Wild Dogs, Colobus Monkeys, Black Mangabeys, and a forest farm featuring several African Domestic Animals.
The Wild Africa Exhibit is located away from the main zoo exhibits at the west end, accessible by a free Zebra-patterned tram, or a 0.5-mile (0.80 km) walking path.
From I-94 in Battle Creek, take Exit 100 (Beadle Lake Road.) Travel south on Beadle Lake Road about 3 miles to the zoo entrance on the right. Located at 7400 Division Drive.
Ownership: Binder Park Zoological Society
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