EXPLORE MICHIGAN: Discovering Potter Park Zoo

Explore Michigan

LANSING. Mich. (WLNS)—You are never too old to go to the zoo!

According to tripadvisor.com, Potter Park Zoo has been voted in top ten for the best zoos and aquarium to visit in Michigan this year. The community is able to get to know the animals on a more personal level due to the size of the zoo and how it house’s nearly 600 animals.

This Michigan staple has also been home to one of the local community’s first black rhino calf’s born in Lansing named Jaali. However, he will be relocating to California shortly after finding a breeding match by the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Plan.

The animals you will be able to see upon visitation are: African Lions, Arctic Foxes, Banded Mongoose, Bat-Eared Foxes, Binturong, Black Rhinos, Cotton-Top Tamarin, Eastern Bongo, Elk, Eurasian Eagle-Owl, Farmyard Animals, Giant Anteaters, Golden Lion Tamarin, Gray Wolves, Penguins, Rattlesnakes, Meerkat’s, Bald Eagle’s, River Otters, Pallas’ Cat, Patagonian Cavy, Peafowl, Puerto Rican Crested Toads, Ravens, Red Kangaroos, Red Pandas, Snow Leopard, Southern Ground Hornbill, Spider Monkeys, and Western Grey Kangaroos.

The zoo also has several family-oriented events, and educational programs for people of all ages to learn about unique animals across the world. During October, Potter Park Zoo will host a College Day! This day gives College Students with a valid ID free ticket admissions on October 3rd. The Zoo will also host various Fall Zootacular events during the entire month for the entire community to gather in costumes, get candy, have a seasonal stroll,. and enjoy the beautiful leaves changing color at the zoo. You will also get to see all of you favorite animals adapt to the fall weather and celebrate halloween with you!

“People should question how animals survive in different climates, the differences in behavior, and what exactly hibernation means,” said Dennis Laidler is the Education Curator at Potter Park Zoo. “We actually educate people on these topics to let them understand how we work with animals in the zoo.

Laidler says the Potter Park Zoo has educational programs on how animals even adapt during winter. Animals can’t relax in a heated home like us, and they educate people on ways various animals prepare for the colder months. They teach people about the behavioral adaptions like fur, fat deposition, and migration.

Potter Park Zoo is one the few zoos in the U.S. to offer ERESA Animal Science Classes. They host on-site high school classes during the entire school year. The students curriculum is based on animal health and veterinary science. There is a lot of information circulated around the anatomy of an animal and physiology that covers a wide variety of zoo-related topics.

If you are visiting the zoo, and don’t have time to visit in the morning they offer outdoor Sundown Safari’s. These take place in mid-April until mid-October where people can go to the zoo at 6:30 p.m. where they get a guided tour by volunteers, an evening snack by the campfire, breakfast, and on-site counselors to answer questions.

“the zoo is a place filled with education and if you just want to enjoy the nature you can do that as well with the fact we have so many trees and wildlife,” Laidler said.

The Potter Park Zoo has a gift shop available for people, to take home souvenirs as memories.

“You can spend your entire day here,” Laidler stated, “We have the Savanna Grill for food, beautiful sceneries, a gift shop, a farmyard, and even on weekends you can get a camel ride!”

For more information about this traditional Lansing staple visit the Potter Park Zoo’s website.

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