We have family in Emporia and over the years have visited this zoo with our children. It was a real eye opener when we revisited last weekend after many years and found that the zoo was far better and more pleasant to visit than it ever was and it is free! The grounds are beautiful with many hanging plants, shrubs, and small garden plots all along the main part of the zoo. It has paved walkways making it easy for parents with small children especially in strollers to have an enjoyable visit. There are not huge animal exhibits but there is a diverse selection and can easily be viewed. I always loved the prairie dog exhibit, the large raptors including a bald eagle pair and an Andean condor and they were still a part of this facility. There are also water exhibits with turtles, geese, swans and other waterfowl which can be seen close up, small wildcats and in another section a few large animals, including bison and a Texas longhorn. If you are in Emporia, go!
The Emporia area is in the midst of a serious drought; when I asked one of the employees how they kept everything alive, she told me staff was coming in at 6am or staying til evening when they are allowed to do some watering. Considering that their working hours are generally from 9 to 3, the staff shows true dedication in trying circumstances. The horticulturist on staff has done a great job.
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