Wildlife World Zoo & Aquarium is celebrating another beautiful Arizona spring in the same way that Mother Nature has always marked the return of spring – with the birth of many young animals. Wildlife Zoo & Aquarium is located on some 95-acres in Litchfield Park, AZ. It is the fulfillment of Mickey Ollson’s dream that began in the mid-1960 when he started raising exotic birds on his small ranch some 27 miles from downtown Phoenix. By the mid-1970s Mickey’s interest in conservation of wildlife and wild places of the world’s exotic animals had become a passion and he began to trade some of his exotic birds for exotic mammals.
Loveable llamas, deer and wallabies became the first members of his new mammal collection. When he was offered a small herd of camel and zebra, he realized his ranch was just too small and purchased the first 50-acre plot that is a part of the current zoo. As he continued to work with exotic animals, his collection grew and grew until he saw his dreams become a reality with the September 1984 opening of the Wildlife World Zoo.
Today, Mickey Ollson’s Wildlife Zoo & Aquarium lovingly displays over 2,600 animals that represent more than 400 different species. Nearly 400,000 visitors, including over 75,000 school children, follow the well-designed trails to the many wildlife exhibits.
Visitors can also choose to jump aboard the Africa Safari Train or get a “bird’s eye” view of the zoo by taking the treetop Skyride or travel through the park on the Log Flume Ride which brags of having the longest acrylic tunnel in Arizona with a 3-story final water drop.
In 2008 the first phase of The Wildlife World Zoo’s public aquarium opened. Aquatic building A, B and C are now complete with Building D scheduled to open in the fall of 2012.
Upon completion, this oasis in the Sonoran Desert will feature more than 60 indoor exhibits spread over 33,000 square feet and contain over 135,000 gallons of water. When combined with the aquarium’s numerous outdoor exhibits, the complex will be home to over 400 species of aquatic birds, reptiles, mammals and fish. With the recent opening of the new Dillon’s Restaurant, you can dine in front of the aquarium windows as a shark swims by eyeing your delicious KC style barbecue meal.
Mickey Ollson’s dream has become a very special reality for anyone who loves and enjoys the wonderful variety of the world’s wildlife.
All photos belong to the Wildlife Zoo & Aquarium...