Zoological District Resident (Jackson/Clay County MO) pricing is only $5 Adults, $4.50 Seniors, $4.00 children 3-11. Regular Pricing $11.50 Adults; $10.50 Seniors; $8.50 Children ages 3-11. 2 and under are free.
Located in Swope Park at 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, Missouri. Just off I-435 and US-71 highway, the Zoo is easily accessible from any part of the metropolitan area. 816.513.5800
Click Tickets Above to Buy Online! Tickets with Rides, Gift Certificates and Discounted Tickets must be purchased on-site at the Zoo's Admission windows. Thank you for your understanding.
The Kansas City Zoo is dedicated to conservation efforts affecting our own backyard as well as the world around us.
What we are working on here at the Zoo
In conjunction with the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department, Jackson County Recreation, and Children's International, The Kansas City Zoo his initiated a bluebird nest box trail. The Eastern bluebird is our state bird and needs help in nesting areas. Twenty bluebird houses have been constructed ad placed in appropriate habitats. Ten of the boxes have had success! If you would like to help expand the trail, please donate to the Bluebird fund at the Zoo by contacting 816-513-5809 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each $5.00 donation will build one bluebird house.
If you come to the Kansas City Zoo’s Africa exhibit this summer to see the two new giraffe, rhino calf, ride the Sky Safari and see many other animals from the boat, you may pass an important conservation project and not even realize it.
In 2007 a mussel propagation project was begun near the Boathouse in the African Market. In addition to the Kansas City Zoo, this project involves experts from the Missouri Department of Conservation, US Fish and Wildlife Services and Missouri State University.
The original goal of the project was to put mussels in the young juvenile stage of development into a floating upweller system commonly called a “flupsy” to see if they would survive and grow.Two of the four original species had previously only been found in rivers. Individual specimens were identified and each was photographed every other week. The photos were analyzed at the Missouri State University lab along with weekly water samples for quality analysis. Among all the research sites in the state that year utilizing the same protocols, the zoo’s site showed the best growth rate, including mussels grown in the lab. This original group of mussels was maintained on grounds from May to November and then all were returned to their original collection site.
Since the first year, the project has expanded in scope. The flupsy now looks like a floating dock. Under the surface are several buckets containing the mussels with a circulating pump nearby to ensure a constant flow of water. The mussels are now kept here year round and grown to near adult size. Identification is accomplished by laser tagging the shell.
There have been 14 different species at one time or another. We currently have two endangered species along with others that may soon join the list. Most exciting, we are helping to return some of these species back to the wild. In August 2010, 222 Pink Mucket went from the Kansas City Zoo to the Meremac River and 1179 Neosho Mucket to the Spring River in Kansas. This past May, 650 Neosho Mucket were released in the Cottonwood River near Emporia, KS.
So next time you ride the boat to see the African animals, remember that you are in the vicinity of some Endangered Species that are part of the Zoo’s conservation mission
Amphibian Ark --The Wyoming Toad is one species that is part of the Amphibian Ark.Several zoos across the nation are housing this species to protect them from becoming extinct due to habitat destruction, pollution, and the chytrid fungus. The goal is to release the toads back into their natural habitat once we know that they can survive there. In order to protect the toads in the meantime, the Amphibian Ark is a biosecure environment to house the toads.If a zoo has Wyoming Toads then they must be kept in this environment to ensure their survival and that nothing is accidently passed onto them. Go here if you would like to read more about the Amphibian Ark program.
Species Survival Plan (SSP) -- Zoos and other cooperating institutions participating in the Species Survival Plan are housing and breeding very specific pairs of toads to help create a larger and more genetically diverse population.A portion of this captive population is released to the wild every year to see if they can sustain their population in the wild. Go here if you would like to read more about the Species Survival Plan. The Kansas City Zoo is an active participant in this program to raise and re-introduce Wyoming Toads into the wild.
Monarch Way Station
There are several Monarch Way Stations located throughout the Zoo. The site provides milkweeds, nectar sources, and shelter that are needed to sustain monarch butterflies as they migrate through the United States.
Elephant Blood Pressure
Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer, Director of Animal Health and research, initiated a project to obtain blood pressure readings in elephants-an important diagnostic tool to assess hypo or hypertension. Since there are no cuffs large enough to obtain readings on a leg, Dr. Suedmeyer devised a method to obtain readings on the tail!.
We have traveled to several other institutions to obtain readings on both African and Asian elephants and this past year we assisted a veterinary student, Jay Katz, to obtain readings on working elephants in Nepal!
So far, we have obtained nearly a thousand readings on more than 85 elephants from all over the country and Nepal!
This information will help all institutions housing elephants to monitor their vascular health, which in turn will allow us to provide better care for the animals!
What we are working on abroad
Namibia Brown Hyena Project
The Kansas City Zoo’s commitment to global research continued with another trip to Namibia this spring to work with brown hyenas. In May of 2011 Dr. Kirk Suedmeyer, Director of Animal Health, traveled back to Namibia to help conduct research on the brown hyena (Hyaena brunnea) near the coastal city of Luderitz, the home base of the Brown Hyena Research Project. In conjunction with Dr. Ingrid Weisel, coordinator and lead investigator for the project, four brown hyenas were caputrued. One female was pregnant, another was lactating, a subadult female, and a subadult male, each of which were fitted with GPS collars, assessed for overall health and eye exams. Ninehyenas have been studied over the past 3 years. Dr. Suedmeyer is now the research veterinarian for the project. The data collected helps the Namibian government determine the impact of diamond mining and human influence on brown hyena populations and behavior.
Brown hyenas are generally solitary, nocturnal animals, covering vast areas (up to 25 miles a night) in search of food, which is predominately carrion, but coastal populations rely on Cape fur seal (Arctocephalus pusillus) young. In times of food scarcity, the hyena will eat Tsama and Gemsbok cucumbers. The brown hyena population is impacted by diamond mining, human encroachment, poaching, and vehicle collisions. In addition, competitors such as the spotted hyena and leopard may influence brown hyena populations and the black-backed jackal appears to be a constant nuisance to the hyena. .
Estimates put the entire population at 5,000- 8,000 individuals in Africa with possibly 800-1,200 in Namibia, a country famous for its “Skeleton Coast” due to the centuries-old accumulation of shipwrecks.
The hyenas appear as black shadows, eerily moving over the sand and rock in wary silence; appearing and disappearing at will. Dr. Suedmeyer and the other researchers continually evaluate and make adjustments for capturing hyenas. Darting was very successful with minor modifications and all hyenas recovered without incident. During the day, they hiked miles to document hyena spoor, find dens, and choose locations for darting. The terrain is rugged and often referred to as inhospitable, though it is home to fascinating animals, plants and insects, many of which are venomous!
Each hyena had a physical exam including body temperature and blood samples, pictures taken of their individualized stripes on the front limbs, hair and skin samples were removed for radioisotope and DNA analysis, dentition was evaluated and teeth were measured. In addition, each animal was monitored with pulse oximetry; a hand-held unit that documents oxygen saturation trends and heart rate. Respirations were constantly monitored. A full ophthalmic (eye) exam was performed including tonometry; which measures eye pressures, and tear tests were performed to document the amount of tears secreted over time. The drugs used gave us about 50 minutes of anesthesia, and each animal was reversed with another drug which allowed the hyena to fully awake within five minutes and released back to the wild. The data collected is allowing us to collate information for an overall health assessment of the Brown hyena in Namibia.
GPS data sets indicate several clans in this part of the country and Dr. Weisel is assessing how the clans maintain their boundary lines and why. Many more years of research are needed to answer these questions
Dr. Suedmeyer also traveled to Namibia in May of 2009 to conduct his first round of research. Your Kansas City Zoo’s commitment to global research is helping our understanding of these mythical creatures, a goal which will help conserve their populations!
Chimp Conservation in Uganda
Dr. Andrew Seguya of the Uganda Wildlife Education Center approached the Kansas City Zoo at the 2008 PAAZB conference in Durbin, South Africa asking for help in getting a dart rifle for their work removing snares from chimpanzees.
When one is spotted with a snare wound, the staff mobilize and they have 5 minutes from the time that they get to the chimpanzee, until the rest of the troop starts attacking to protect it!! The snare is removed and the chimpanzee recovers back with the troop.
This rifle will allow them to dart animals more effectively-just one example of a direct-aid effort of the Kansas City Zoo helping wildlife!! You can help UWEC by donating to the conservation and research fund at the zoo. Monies will go to purchasing new darts and needles and local conservation efforts!
Vulture Project in Namibia
The Kansas City Zoo has a unique opportunity to assist in the rare and Endangered Species Trust in Namibia, Africa to help the conservation of Griffon, Lappet-faced and White-backed Vultures.
Dr. Suedmeyer, Director of Animal Health and Research, traveled to Africa in May 2008 to establish contacts with various researchers and conservation officials to assist their programs and generate new projects. Through a collaborative effort, satellite transmitters are being placed to track the movements, and thus document home ranges for these species.
This effort will allow us to gain valuable knowledge into their natural history which will help care for vultures in zoos. The Kansas City Zoo has a pair of Lappet-faced Vultures on exhibit in the Africa section of the zoo.