Article: Go wild at Wildwood Zoo

Go wild at Wildwood Zoo

For more than a century, animal lovers have been able to see some incredible wild creatures at Wildwood Zoo. Located in Marshfield, Wisconsin, the zoo is home to nearly 20 exhibits that showcase some of North America’s most iconic wild animals. It draws more than 100,000 visitors a year, and the best season for experiencing the zoo has arrived. Here’s a quick guide to visiting Wildwood Zoo.

How can I visit Wildwood Zoo?

There are multiple ways to explore the zoo. First, there’s a driving route that will allow you to see some of the zoo’s larger residents. The drive begins right off West 17th Street in Marshfield, near South Adams Avenue. This is a one-way road that loops past fenced areas containing bison, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, elk and timber wolves. To see even more, including the zoo’s popular Kodiak Bear Exhibit, get out of the car and take a stroll. You’ll find parking areas on the north and south side of the zoo, off West 17th Street and South Roddis Avenue. The zoo can be experienced in as little as 15 minutes, although to appreciate the animals and read the signs, you’ll want to allow more time. Some people take their time, relax and spend a half day at the zoo. See zoo hours here.

What does Wildwood Zoo cost?

It’s free, but donations are accepted.

What can I see at the zoo?

Two of the zoo’s newer attractions are a monarch butterfly exhibit, which opened in summer 2019, and a newly expanded cougar exhibit and welcome center (that was completed in fall 2019). The monarch butterfly exhibit is a project of residents Melissa and James Gwiazda and features a monarch butterfly mural that’s become a popular spot for photo ops.

The new cougar exhibit is 10 times larger than the previous facilities, with more natural surfaces and a public viewing area where visitors can see the zoo’s two cougars, Star and Thunder. The welcome center includes small animal exhibits, ADA-accessible restrooms and an interactive water education exhibit for children.

Other animals to see include fox, wolves, lynx, prairie dogs, owls, eagles, bison, elk, deer, turkey and of course, Kodiak bears.

What’s the most popular attraction?

The twin Kodiak bears (Munsey and Boda) are the stars of the zoo. They are part of a major exhibit that was added to the zoo in 2015. The 800-pound bears are still young and love to play—they wrestle, swim and simply have fun. Visitors will love the 15-foot wide glass viewing windows along with plenty of shade, while the bears love splashing in the recirculating pools, and crossing the covered bridge to explore an acre of enrichment grounds, which gives them room to roam and play.

What else is happening at the zoo?

Wild Wednesdays events happen throughout the summer. This free educational program is great for kids—it features professional animal handlers and some fascinating visiting creatures. The programs last 45 minutes and are held at Wildwood Station, 1800 S. Roddis Avenue. For information, contact the Marshfield Parks & Recreation office at 715-384-4642, ext. 0 or visit the zoo’s website or their Facebook page.

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