Phillips Park Zoo is a well-known tourist attraction in Aurora Illinois. The venue was originally built in 1915 and was designed with the hopes of housing lots of exotic animals like giraffes. The opening of Brookfield Zoo in the 1930s, however, resulted in the Phillips Park Zoo deciding to center its attention on native animals. There are currently over 100 different animals housed at the zoo including peacocks, various reptiles, gray wolves, great horned owls, river otters, bald eagles, elk, llamas, ducks, and various farmyard animals.
Unlike many others, Aurora Illinois Zoo is open during every season of the year. What’s more, admission is completely free. The on site visitors center first opened in October 2003. At the center, visitors can learn all about the history of the zoo and see historical artifact displays and educational exhibits. The center also has key amenities including bathrooms, drinking fountains and drink and snack vending machines. The most famous display at the center is arguably that of mastodon bones. The bones and tusks of mastodons were actually found at the Phillips Park site in 1937.
Learning more about the history of Aurora Il Zoo is somewhat fascinating. Back in 1920, the only animals housed at the zoo were 6 elks, 3 buffalo, 1 deer, 10 monkeys, several hundred birds, 5 black bears, and 1 wolf. Unfortunately, in 1933, the original birdhouse from 1916 was damaged during a hailstorm. A key addition to the zoo in 1964 was a water wheel. In 2005, a cougar exhibit was opened.
To learn more about the Zoo, you might want to visit its official website which can be found at aurora-il.org. On the website, you can find out the scheduling for key events and also discover more about the latest exhibits to hit the venue. It should be noted that the zoo is involved in plenty of conservation work. Those interested in contributing either time or money can find out more about volunteering or donating financially on the website. One interesting feature on the site is a live webcam feed from bald eagle nests in Decorah, Iowa.
In addition to Phillips Park Zoo, there are lots of other great tourist attractions in Aurora Illinois including Cantigny Park, Blackberry Farm, Blackwell Forest Preserve, Hollywood Casino, First Division Museum, Herrick Lake Forest Preserve, RiverEdge Park and SciTech Hands on Museum. For those who love gambling, Hollywood Casino Aurora is a must visit the venue in the city.