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Kazi the giraffe at milwaukee county zoo

What types of Animals Will I See at the Milwaukee County Zoo?


There’s nothing quite like spending the day at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Not only will you see incredible animals from all over the world, but visiting the zoo is a fun way to learn about conservation, the environment, animal behavior and their natural habitats.

Of course, there’s nothing like seeing your children amazed as they listen to an elephant trumpet or watch the bonobo play. Strolling the zoo and exhibits is the perfect way to spend a day with family and friends.

Take an up-close look at some of the incredible animals you’ll see at the Milwaukee County Zoo in near Brown Deer, WI.

Amur (Siberian) Tiger

Where Siberian Tigers live in the wild: Mainly in eastern Russia, but can also be found in northern areas of North Korea and northeast China.

What Siberian Tigers eat in the wild: elk, boar, and deer.

The Amur Tiger is the largest cat in the world. Not only can males be up to 12 feet long but they can also weigh up to 700 pounds! Each tiger has unique stripes, so no two look exactly alike, and the pattern has an important purpose. The tiger’s black stripes serve as camouflage when they hunt during the night.



Image Source: @zoosocietymke via Instagram


Where Bonobos live in the wild: Democratic Republic of Congo.

What Bonobos eat in the wild: leaves, vegetation, fruit, and seeds.

You can find mother Bonobos socializing with her young at the Milwaukee County Zoo. The Bonobo is also known as “pygmy chimpanzee” because early scientists thought they were merely a smaller version of chimpanzees, which they are not.

The Bonobo is man’s closest relative, sharing 98% of genetic material with humans. Furthermore, Bonobos are empathetic, intelligent and understand language.


Bald Eagle

Image Source: @milwaukeecozoo via Instagram


Where Bald Eagles live in the wild: North America.

What Bald Eagles eat in the wild: fish, birds and small mammals such as squirrels, rabbits, and prairie dogs.

Bald eagles like to live near bodies of water like lakes, rivers, and oceans where they feed mainly on fish. Once a threatened species, in 2007 the federal government took the bald eagle off the endangered species list.

Did you know?

  • Bald Eagles are the United States National Emblem
  • Bald Eagles can fly about 20-40 miles per hour and can dive up to 100 mph
  • It takes five years for bald eagles to attain their white head and tail feathers


African Elephant

Raise your trunk to wish all elephants a Happy World Elephant Day!

A post shared by Milwaukee County Zoo (@milwaukeecozoo) on

Image Source: @milwaukeecozoo via Instagram


Where Elephants live in the wild: Sub-Saharan Africa and the rain forests of central and West Africa.

What Elephants eat in the wild: grasses, leaves, roots, twigs, bark, fruits and vegetables.

In the wild, African elephant herds wander through 37 countries on the African continent. You can watch the Milwaukee County Zoo’s elephant webcam to see this magnificent animal. The African elephant is the largest mammal on earth weighing up to 7 tons. Not to mention, they eat up to 300 pounds of food each day!

Did you know?

  • The elephant’s enormous ears, nose, and tusk all play vital roles in its survival.
  • Elephants use their tusks to dig for food and water
  • Oversized ears radiate heat to keep them cool during sweltering temperatures Elephants use their trunks for smelling, drinking, breathing, and picking things up


Reticulated (Somali) Giraffe

Image Source: @zoosocietymke via Instagram


Where Giraffes live in the wild: Giraffes live the Horn of Africa, so live in Somalia, southern Ethiopia, and northern Kenya.

What Giraffes eat in the wild: leaves and shoots of trees. They love acacia trees.

In the wild, giraffes are found throughout the savannas of Africa. A savanna is a grassy plain in tropical and subtropical regions, with few trees. Given how tall giraffe’s are it’s no surprise that their neck makes up half of their total height. That’s saying a lot because giraffes are the tallest animal on land.  

Male Giraffes can grow in stature to reach 18 feet tall. So it probably won’t come as a surprise to learn that Giraffe babies are around 6-feet-tall when they’re born.

No two giraffes look exactly alike as they each have unique patterns. Their hearts can weigh an astonishing 22 pounds! Furthermore, Giraffes have excellent vision and can see for a mile—that’s a long way—and thankfully, have no competition for food.


Western Lowland Gorilla

Image Source: @milwaukeecozoo via Instagram


Where Gorillas live in the wild: Equatorial West Africa in places such as Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Equatorial Guinea.

What Gorillas eat in the wild: roots, shoots, fruit, leaves, stems, nuts, bark and ants.

The Western Lowland Gorilla is the largest primate in the world. Adult male Gorillas are often called “Silverbacks” because of the color of their fur.  The male Gorilla also dominates the group and organizes the schedule of all the other Gorillas.

Just like humans, Gorillas also have unique fingerprints. Additionally, they can learn sign language to communicate with people.  


Victoria Crowned Pigeon

Image Source: @milwaukeecozoo via Instagram


Where Victoria Crowned Pigeons live in the wild: Northern New Guinea.

What they eat in the wild: fallen fruit, mostly figs.

The Victoria Crowned Pigeon was named for the British Monarch Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

Unlike the dusty grey pigeons we see in large cities, these distinctive birds have stunning red eyes, a maroon breast, and incredible lace-like crest. The Victoria Crowned Pigeon is almost as big as a turkey, making it the world’s largest pigeon.


Snow Leopard

Image Source: @milwaukeecozoo via Instagram


Where Snow Leopards live in the wild: the mountains of Central Asia and 60% live in China.

What Snow Leopards eat in the wild: wild sheep and goats.

Did you know that if you were to shave a snow leopard’s fur off, their skin is also spotted? The Snow Leopard’s long, furry tails help them balance while climbing steep rocky terrain. Furthermore, their tails are almost as long as their body and used to shield their mouths and noses during cold weather and snowstorms.

Snow leopards are solitary and are rarely seen in the wild.


Black Rhinoceros

Image Source: @milwaukeecozoo via Instagram


Where Black Rhinoceros live in the wild: scattered across the continent from the Cape to Somalia.

What Black Rhinoceros eat in the wild: leaves and fruit.

Most horned animals have horns on their heads, but not the Black Rhinoceros. They’re the only animal with horns on their noses! In fact, the word rhinoceros comes from the Greek words for horn and a nose.

The Black Rhinoceros is a browser rather than a grazer, and it walks with his huge head, and horn pointed towards the ground. The rhino gets most of its sustenance from eating leaves and bushes. The name Black Rhino is deceiving because they are really dark grey or brown.

African Lion

Image Source: Milwaukee Zoo via Instagram


What African Lions eat in the wild: large animals such as zebras, antelope, and wildebeests.

Lions are the most social of all cats. They are the only cats that live in groups. A single pride can have up to 3 males, about 12 females and all their young.

Traditionally depicted as the “king of the jungle,” the African lion can range anywhere from 4.5 to 6.5 feet long from its head to its rump.  African lions typically weigh 265 to 420 lbs, and its roar can be heard up to five miles away.

Female lions do the hunting while the males protect the territory and the young cubs.


There are numerous benefits of visiting a zoo whether you are traveling to another state or country or spending the day in a nearby city. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, over 181 million people visit zoos and aquariums each year.

Visiting a zoo offers incredible learning opportunities for adults and children of all ages. From sparking curiosity to promoting family bonding, a day at the Milwaukee County Zoo also encourages a healthy lifestyle while bringing family and friends together. It is the perfect day trip destination for any season.

The Milwaukee County Zoo is located near Brown Deer, Wisconsin and is open daily. Check here for seasonal hours and rates.

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