Wildwood Zoo History
Wildwood Zoo is believed to have been established unofficially sometime after 1904. It began when some utility workers began to care for two black bears. In 1910, before a zookeeper was hired, it became the Mayor's job to care for the animals at the zoo. In 1923, Wildwood Park got it's name and the zoo was officially dedicated on July 27th, 1930.
Today, the zoo covers over 60 acres and houses many different animals. It is no longer the Mayor's job to care for the animals. Currently, the zoo has one keeper that cares for all the animals. When the zoo was first established it housed many animals from around the world including zebras and gibbons. More recently, the City of Marshfield decided it would be best to switch and only have animal species that could be found in North America. One of the main reasons for this change was that the zoo is open year-round and a lot of the non-native species could not be on display year-round because they could not take the cold. Today, you can see each of our animals at any time of the year.
Key exhibits include the Kodiak bears, cougars, fox, wolves, and lynx. Black-tailed prairie dogs spring out of the holes in their exhibit to peek at spectators while the great horned owls and bald eagles cautiously observe all of the activity. There are also non-zoo animals such as geese, ducks, swans, muskrats, rabbits & squirrels who make themselves at home on the zoo grounds. The large animal exhibits include bison, elk, white-tailed deer, and wild turkeys. These animals can be observed from the large animal drive, as well as by foot. The zoo also features Sensory Gardens, which includes a wide variety of flowering and non-flowering plants designed to encourage the visitor to experience the senses of sight, sound, smell, and touch in a unique and tranquil setting.
The Wildwood Park Zoological Society works with the City of Marshfield Parks & Recreation Department to continue improvement and expansion of the zoo, which is one of the feature attractions for visitors to the area.