Kansas City Zoo offers visitors interesting views


Kansas City’s zoo offers upclose views of animals from around the world!

The first thing we noticed about the Kansas City Zoo was the size of its animal exhibits. They are much larger than other zoos we have visited, including our very own Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

Otters at Kansas City Zoo

The first animals on display are otters. The exhibit has a water pool, rock play area and a sand beach spot. The two otters on display have quite a bit of room to roam. Otters on top of rocks at Kansas City Zoo

I believe the zoo’s major attraction is the polar bear passageway. It is mere steps from the otter exhibit.

Polar Bear Exhibit at Kansas City Zoo

The polar bear area offers a large swimming pool, rock/cave section and a dirt play area. The exhibit has two polar bears on display – a 5-year-old male and a 23-year-old female. The male was brought in about a month ago, in order to have the couple reproduce. The bears had been on display together for only five days when we visited. The duo is having a bit of a difficult time as the female does not want a lot to do with the male.

It was fun watching both bears move about. Some iced treats were tossed into the water. The female jumped in. She played with the treats, including swimming under water while holding them.

Polar Bear swimming in their pool at Kansas City Zoo

After the polar bear passageway, we made our way to the zoo’s Asia/Australia area. From tigers to the infamous (in our family, anyway) red panda, the area offered some nice views. Tiger Trail at the Kansas City Zoo

One of the most intriguing sights was the Ibis area. The birds roam the aviary freely and get close to humans. They will let you stand quite close, but no touching. Some bubble brain dude thought it would be funny to pet an Ibis. The bird made it clear it wasn’t interested, even opening its beak and chirping at him. It didn’t stop him the first time. He tried it again. The same thing happened. Ugh!

Ibis at the Kansas City Zoo

We spent quite a few minutes just watching the birds move about. They were beautiful.

Afterward, we walked on to see what awaited us.

Checking out the red panda was very special for us. Our youngest daughter has a long-running joke that they do not exist because each zoo that claimed to have them never had them on display during visits. Seeing the red panda, I took a picture with my cell phone and sent it to her. “Holy crap!” was her reply. LOL. Red panda at the Kansas City Zoo

We walked farther along the trail and came upon some kangaroos. They were lounging, or lazy. Probably, the latter. It still cool to see them in a herd.

Kangaroos at the Kansas City Zoo

Camels were our next stop. The zoo has a few. They even offer camel rides.

Camel at the Kansas City Zoo

Leaving the Asia/Australia area, we made our way to the African “continent.” The zoo has a large African animal area. You walk across a nice bridge into the exhibit area. There is a small “river” below the bridge.

The Kansas City Zoo has a small lake

The zoo has a small lake, where boat rides are offered during warm weather months. Combined with a sky gondola option, KC’s zoo has some nice attractions. Families can get a pass for the boat rides, gondola and carousel ride for a nice price, saving a couple of bucks.

The lion pride at the Kansas City Zoo The lion pride was great. The grounds were large enough for the king and his four lionesses to roam freely. There is even a small stream at the bottom of a hill for them to drink from. Lionesses at the Kansas City Zoo

We loved the cheetahs moving about their area. We saw them for a few minutes, and then they disappeared on the other side of the hill.

One attraction we fell in love with was the crocodile display. Two narrow snout crocodile give out an eery vibe. One opened his mouth and bared his teeth at Lisa. We stood there for at least 20 minutes watching him watch us.

Crocodile gives us a grin at Kansas City Zoo

Lastly on our trip through the Kansas City Zoo, we stopped by the elephant den. They were huddled near their stalls. So, it wasn’t a great view, but we did see them. In Oklahoma City, we saw the layout but no elephants.

On our way toward the gate, we checked out some flamingos. They were all pretty much doing their flamingo thing with one leg on the ground and the other tucked up. There were two birds getting into a bit of a dabble. They were fighting or playing, with each taking the other’s beak in their beak and biting down. Flamingos at the Kansas City Zoo

It took us about 6.5 hours to tour the zoo. I believe you could add another 2-3 hours during warm weather with the boat and gondola rides. The zoo is adding a penguin exhibit with a 2014 opening.

The zoo’s director came from the Omaha zoo. His ultimate goal is to get Kansas Citians to visit their zoo and not make the 3-hour drive north to one of the nation’s best zoos.

I will confess that while I love our zoo, the Kansas City offers visitors the chance to see some animals closer up and with some more room to roam.

I have learned after visiting zoos in other cities, that there are some nice alternatives. Things don’t have to be compared with the Omaha zoo; they can just be enjoyed.