Because of its
abundant animal populations, you’ll sometimes hear the term “America’s
Serengeti” to describe the area, which is home of the largest
concentration of large mammals in the Lower 48.
|Tentative Opening Date: Fall 2009|
ever a place deserved the term “Wonderland,” it would have to be the 14
million acres that makes up the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. In this
spectacularly scenic region lies the nation’s oldest and best-loved
national park, Yellowstone, along with one of the most stunning
mountainscapes in the world, Grand Teton National Park.
The Fred and Diane Smith Family Teton Trek will take people of
the Mid-South on a journey through the history, culture and wildlife of
the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The 4-acre exhibit will feature
grizzly bears, elk, Timber wolves, arctic waterfowl, sandhill cranes
and trumpeter swans. The exhibit will be located to the east of the
Zoo's Northwest Passage exhibit.
|Entry Plaza and Great Lodge|
Visitors will begin their journey in the Old Faithful Entry Plaza.
A twenty-five foot geyser will greet visitors, and children will enjoy
playing on the waterpark among the boulders that surround Old Faithful. Visitors enter the Teton Trek through the Great Lodge, replicated after the Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone National Park. The Great Lodge
is a forty-five foot, two-story multi-purpose building which will be
used to orient our guests. This five thousand square foot building can
be used for after hour events and will feature a large fireplace. A
spacious upper mezzanine level will provide additional exhibit space to
display photography, artifacts and history of the region.
Visitors exit the Great Lodge
onto one of several prominent overlooks in the grizzly bear exhibit.
The first overlook provides a dramatic viewing of grizzly bears on rock
| || ||The second viewing venue is the Grizzly Fishing Lodge. The Firehole River, which runs through the exhibit and empties into the pond, is stocked with fresh-water fish. The Grizzly Fishing Lodge includes a glass cut-away of the fishing pond and
invites visitors to watch the bears swim, play and attempt to catch
their evening’s dinner. The exhibit also features a number of
additional viewing areas as visitors travel around the perimeter.|
|The trek along the grizzly exhibit rises in elevation and continues on
a twelve-foot high rustic bridge that traverses the Firehole River and
crosses under the twenty-five foot tall Firehole Falls. This bridge offers a majestic overlook of the entire grizzly bear exhibit as well as the grey wolf exhibit. |
|An elevated walkway meanders along the south side of the grey wolf exhibit from Firehole Falls to
the Arctic Marsh. Along this walkway visitors will view the grey wolves
and elk below. Usually grey to brown, the magnificent and elusive grey
wolves will grace this prominent exhibit. Very social creatures, grey
wolves live in small, closely-knit packs with a strict hierarchical
order. A hidden drop moat will make the grey wolves appear to be in the
same display with the grizzly bears. The grey wolf exhibit will include
a wolf den where children can get eye to eye with these magnificent
Just past the Firehole Falls
is the elk overlook. An elevated walkway with a hidden restraint wall
underneath will make the grey wolves and elk appear to be in the same
exhibit. A majestic member of the deer family, elk are very abundant in
the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. With bulls weighing up to 900 pounds
and cows up to 600 pounds, these are some of the largest antlered
animals in the Americas.
| ||Arctic Marsh|
In the shadows of snow-capped mountains lies the
mist-shrouded marsh. This exhibit reveals the delicate balance of
nature from nests in the treetops to cranes and swans preparing for
flight. Ducks, geese, trumpeter swans, sand hill cranes, fish and other
creatures of the marshlands will find this their new home. The marsh
will include a cut-away tank for viewing aquatic life in the ecosystem.