When it comes to going on vacation in the USA, whether you’re a domestic tourist or an international tourist, there are many cities and states to visit. One of those cities is Aurora, which is situated in the U.S. state of Illinois. The city spans four counties in the state: Kane, Will, Kendall, and DuPage. It is one of the most well-known outer suburbs of the city of Chicago. The city was officially incorporated in 1857, but settlers arrived years before that time. In fact, the region was originally incorporated as a village in 1845 and the first recorded settlement in the area occurred in 1834.
One of the most unique characteristics of the city of Aurora is that it has its own zoo: Phillips Park Zoo. What’s more, the zoo has a long history as it was initially built and opened in 1915. It was originally thought that the zoo would house and showcase exotic animal species to the public, like giraffes, zebras, and monkeys, but the opening of Brookfield Zoo and a damaging hailstorm in 1933 resulted in a change of direction. The Aurora zoo now focuses on housing native animals.
Over one hundred different species are currently housed at the Phillips Park Zoo including gray wolves, river otters, great horned owls, numerous common farmyard animals, bald eagles, peacocks, llamas, and various reptile species. In addition, the visitors’ center houses displays of historic mastodon bones and tusks, which were actually unearthed on the site of the zoo in 1937. The historic bone displays are one of the main reasons why the venue is also categorized as a museum.
There have been many developments to the zoo over time, including the addition of a water wheel in the year 1964 and a cougar exhibit in the year 2005. Looking back at the history of the zoo, it’s almost hard to believe that the only animals present on the site in 1920 were 1 deer, 3 buffalo, 6 elks, 5 black bears, 1 wolf, several hundred different bird species, and 10 monkeys. Fortunately, the visitors’ center onsite has exhibitions and displays documenting/showcasing the history of the zoo.
Perhaps one of the best things about the Aurora Zoo is that visitors don’t have to pay for admission. The second best thing is that the venue is open year-round. This is in sharp contrast to the operational procedures of other zoos in the United States of America.