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Published on March 28th, 2012 | by simeon

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Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium

As soon as you enter the Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium, you’ll know
this isn’t your average zoo. There’s a more open, rustic and natural
feel as you stroll down unpaved paths and observe the zoo’s
inhabitants, many up close and personal.

We started our visit with a 5/8-mile long narrated train ride through
the plains of Africa where antelope, gazelles and ostriches roamed
freely. The proximity to beautiful creatures, unconstrained by cages
and enclosures made this an enchanting experience. In fact, we
witnessed the first few minutes of a new little African deer’s life as
the train passed by the mother cleaning her newborn fawn.

Next we hoped on a boat to travel through Arizona’s version of
Australia where we exclaimed over red and gray kangaroos, even an
albino wallaby, flightless emu and kookaburras. Our boat was escorted
at times by black swans and ducks.

Back on land, we continued our relaxed trek through the park taking in
exhibits that included primates, peacocks, white tigers, wolves,
llamas, camels, meerkats and big cats. Zebras came up to the fence to
be admired by us. We climbed up a 12 foot platform to feed giraffes,
and enjoyed a few restful minutes to watch them glide gracefully
across the open fields.

For an even higher view of the park, there’s a skyride that takes you
from the southwest to the northeast corners of the park and back. The
bird’s eye view is as thrilling as it is peaceful, as you fly over
more exhibits of gazelles, oryx, African wild dogs and the kangaroo
walkabout.

To cool off, we headed over to the Log Flume ride. This ride lulls you
into a tranquil state as you enjoy the sights and sounds of the
primates that play on three islands as the log ride circles and takes
riders past aquatic animals and through the aquarium’s South Pacific
Reef tunnel tank–the longest acrylic tunnel in Arizona. The tranquil
state was soon lost when we splashed down 3 stories as it returned us
to the boarding platform.

But we were refreshed and ready to take on the Aquarium section of the
park. In the Diversity of Life in Water, there are touch tanks,
turtles, crocodiles, jelly fish and many more species. The Wild &
Wonderful exhibit houses penguins, eels, and a seahorse reef among
other wonders of the sea. For sharks, stingrays and piranha, enter the
Predators exhibit.

Added in November 2011, Dragon World puts on display giant ectotherms,
today’s “dragons” – crocodiles, alligators, caimans, monitors and
lizards. Included in this exhibit are giant Aldabra tortoises and a
giant snake, a 200-pound, 20-feet long reticulated python.

Located along the western edge of the Phoenix metropolitan area in
Litchfield Park, the Wildlife World Zoo has been a wonderful family
attraction since 1984. When the Aquarium was added, Wildlife World
became home to Arizona’s largest collection of exotic animals with
over 6000 animals representing more than 600 species. The zoo boasts
annual visits of more than 500,000 people.

While paying $2 to $4 for the individual rides in addition to an
entrance fee seems dear, as a privately owned and operated
institution, Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium relies solely on gate
attendance and retail sales to generate its operating and capital
budgets. It receives zero public tax support, grants, or financial
donations. WWZA provides educational and outreach programs and
promotes wildlife restoration and conservation by contributing money
and in-kind support and expertise to dozens of local, national and
international organizations.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and with WWZA’s expansion with a
fourth aquarium building opening soon, we are look forward to
discovering more of what the zoo has to offer.

Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium is located at 16501 W. Northern Ave.,
Litchfield Park, AZ. Open seven days a week, 365 days a year,
including all holidays. Zoo exhibits are open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00
p.m. (last zoo admission is at 5:00 p.m.) Aquarium exhibits are open
from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Daytime admission includes access to the
zoo and aquarium. Special reduced evening admission to Aquarium-Only
is available after 5:00 p.m.


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