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“A zoo of tears...”
Review of Lakewood Zoo - CLOSED

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Lakewood Zoo
Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
382 reviews
133 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 247 helpful votes
“A zoo of tears...”
Reviewed February 21, 2012

The zoo is just outside of Lakewood, Wisconsin along the main stretch of highway leading north. From the exterior, the zoo appears to be well maintained and stocked with a variety of animals. The actual visit of the zoo left me depressed and sad for the animals kept on the grounds.

We frequently stay in the area at my wife's family cabin. Last summer we visited the Lakewood Zoo, which doubles as a firework stand (clue for what is priority here). I have visited zoos in Brisbane, Honolulu, D.C., to smaller venues in Madison, and Norfolk. Those cities can properly support a zoo and the variety of animals on display, not Lakewood Wisconsin.

Case example, a bengal cub we visited during out last visit. Initial reaction was "how cool is that, a tiger cub in northern Wisconsin!!!" The reality settled in, a tiger cub in a steel enclosure that was smaller than most dog runs. The enclosure was no more than five feet wide, five feet deep and four feet tall. The cub and visitors literally could swat at one another, and that takes place with no "zoo" supervision at all. The rest of the mature tigers, and larger game don't look much happier.

I would not recommend this attraction to visitors, it would only encourage the owners. The animals looked healthy, but the set up and location (in northern Wisconsin) is abysmal. The main set up inside the zoo store is for fireworks, a clue that the animals are not the main stay here.

I am for animal awareness, education and conservation but this is a poor example of a zoo. During our Saturday visit in July 2011, the zoo had approximately 20 visitors on site. I don't recall many smiles or laughs from the children and many adults such as myself weren't impressed.

Visited July 2011
7 Thank goose3nbc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

8 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Racine, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
19 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Worth the visit”
Reviewed October 4, 2011

I have a cottage in the Lakewood area and have gone past this zoo many a times since it opened but never stopped. My brother-in-law had been there and told us it was worth the trip. So my husband and I went there in August 2011. It was $6 per person. The zoo is not large but worth the $6. They have many large cats and at the time they had 8 baby tiger that were born from 2 of the tigers they recently aquired from a facility that could no longer care for them. I do agree that some of the enclosures seem a bit small for some of the tigers, however they seemed to be content. They appeared well fed and the enclosures were very clean. I've seen some blog posting online where one of the facilities in TX where some of the animals came from is angry with the way this zoo aquired the animals. It seems like a he said she said case. What is really important is these animals seem to be well cared for and that is really all that matters. I will be re-visiting this zoo the 2nd weekend in October to see the babies and they have a haunted zoo thing going on in October.

Visited August 2011
1 Thank Lynn K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
37 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Praise to the owner”
Reviewed October 18, 2010

I was just there and spoke with owner of the Lakewood Zoo. He is self funded and does this out of passion. The reason there are fireworks is because he apparently owned a buiness in that field and recently sold it. Sale of the business created this zoo. Yes you will see some fireworks and other things in the gift shop there. They sell a variety of things to support these animals, which have been rescued from tragic situations. The white tiger is being well tended to. Her previous owners kept her in a mall circus wagon cage and her paws were burned from urine.
What you will see is a small town zoo and the cages are well kept; however you will smell the animals because they are ANIMALS and you can get that close to them. You will see goats and rabbits freely wandering around, you will see fresh water for drinking and well kept concrete ponds for the tigers to play in. There is nothing wrong at this zoo. It is more of a rehab facility and continues to expand. I have animals of my own and live very close to the famous Jo-Don Farms and know the cost of upkeep, maintenance, food, shelter - Bravo to this family and his rescuing efforts.

8 Thank crzy4u2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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