Missouri Park

7 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know About Lemurs

Chances are high that you’ve only seen lemurs on television, in animated movies, or on a trip through our park. Since these beautiful animals are not common, they tend to be fairly mysterious and misunderstood. Today we thought we’d talk about some of the things you probably don’t know about the amazing lemur.

Lemurs are primates that can live up to 18 years in the wild. They can weigh up to 7.5 pounds, depending on the species. They have unusually long tails that are typically longer than their bodies. They are very social animals that live in large groups called troops. Lemurs are herbivores and eat a lot of fruits but also feast on leaves, tree bark, sap, and flowers.

Here are some other interesting lemur facts we bet you didn’t know:

  1. There are hundreds of types of lemurs, 17 of which are currently protected. The ring-tailed lemur is the most well-known. Learn more by visiting the Lemur Conservation Foundation.
  2. Madagascar is one of the largest islands in the world and is a hotspot of biodiversity. Many species, including the lemur, are only found naturally on the island. Of course, lemurs are found in zoos, sanctuaries, and wildlife parks around the world.
  3. Lemur’s social structure is unique in that females are dominant. In fact, females are the leaders of lemur troops.
  4. Lemurs may have substantial tails, but they cannot grip or swing by them as similar primates do.
  5. The ring-tailed lemur spends a lot of time on the ground, which is unusual. Most other species of lemur spend most of their time in the trees.
  6. Lemurs are one of the only mammals, other than humans, which have blue eyes! The Sclater lemur also called the blue-eyed black lemur, is a rare and endangered species, according to the Lemur Conservation Network.
  7. The Indris lemur is a large lemur that is known for its song-like vocalizations. The Indris song is complex and is thought to help mark their territories and communicate other information, like warning the troop of danger. Other lemurs are vocal as well, using wails, howls, purrs, and chirps to talk.

Unfortunately, lemurs are facing an uncertain future due to threats to their environment. For this reason, conservation and education efforts are the focus of attention for the Madagascar people. Learn more about lemur conservation by visiting the Lemur Conservation Network.

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Interesting Ways Animals Deal With The Cold

In the winter it’s easy for us to crank up the heat and throw on a nice coat to stay warm. When the elements get harsher, we simply stay inside and enjoy our cozy homes. Animals don’t have it so easy though and have to find ways to deal with the cold, no matter how severe the weather may be. 

While our animal friends have us to help them stay safe and warm all winter long, in the wild, animals have had to adapt in all sorts of ways. Here are four of the most common ways wild animals have adapted to live and thrive in cold climates.


Hibernation allows some animals to survive through the winter by reducing their need for resources. By hibernating they don’t have to spend energy to hunt food, which is even more scarce during the cold season. And while some people compare hibernating to sleeping, it’s not really the same. Hibernation is a slow down of metabolism that allows all of the animal’s systems to slow down dramatically. During this unique state, they need far less energy to survive. It is true, however, that many animals find a safe spot, like a den, to hibernate in during the coldest months of the year. 


The idea of migration is a simple one, in fact, a lot of people do it too!  By going to a warmer climate for the winter, animals can avoid cold weather and have reduced access to food and water. If you’ve ever taken a winter vacation to a warm beach, you’ve migrated! The big difference is that animals will make the warmer location their home until it’s time to return. Interestingly, many different animals use this tactic, from fish and birds to large mammals and insects!


Seasonal adaptations are a fascinating way animals deal with the cold. This includes changing their appearance in some way to be more suited for the harsh weather of winter. It could be growing warmer fur or a thickened undercoat to provide insulation, but it can be more dramatic as well. For instance, there are multiple animals that actually turn white in the winter, like the Mountain Hare! By having white fur in the winter, these animals are safer from predators and they can hunt more effectively since they can go undetected in the snow.

Last on our list is the “storage” method. This can include eating more to gain extra fat before the winter sets in, to creating food caches, like the beaver or red squirrel. This is where an animal collects and hides extra food when it’s available so they can eat it during the winter when resources are harder to come by. 

Which method do you find most interesting? Visit us on Facebook and tell us about it!

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Tips To Make Your Visit Fun and Educational

If you’re like most parents, you’re always on the lookout for ways to bring more education into the lives of your children. You want them to be enriched by every experience, but you also want them to have fun. After all, if something isn’t fun, you’re little ones won’t be engaged and interested!

At Wild Animal Safari, it’s easy to have an adventure that also provides plenty of learning opportunities. And we’re not just talking about repeating facts, but creating truly memorable experiences that help kids of all ages learn how to appreciate the entire animal kingdom. 

If you’re looking for ways to enhance your next visit, we’ve got you covered. The following ideas can transform your safari adventure into a full learning experience. 

Name game

This is an easy game for kids of all ages, and it can be played in a few different ways. You can see how many names of animals your kid remembers after each section of the park. So, after you drive through, you can see who can quickly name off more of the animals you saw. If you have more than one child, you can let them compete for animal king or queen, giving a small treat or privilege to whoever can remember the most. When you’re headed home, you can play one more round to test their memories, while also passing a little bit of time on the drive back.

Create a scavenger hunt 

Going on a safari should be an adventure! You can turn your trip into a true safari by making a Wild Animal scavenger hunt. All you need to do is make a list of animals and park features. This might include types of animals, or even animal behaviors, for your little ones to discover and check off. For instance, you can put “monkey-eating lunch” as an item. During the course of your visit, your kids can mark off everything they find. The one that finds the most items wins! 

Make a passport 

No Wild Animal adventure is complete without a passport! You can create your own passport, listing areas of the park and animals you might see. Using a fun sticker or stamp, mark off the areas you visit and the animals you see. This not only keeps kids engaged, but serves as a nice keepsake of your trip. You can make your own passport by searching online for free printables, or visit this site for a free template.

Every Wild Animal trip is an opportunity to learn and get in touch with our animal friends. These tips can help you enhance the experience and turn your next trip into a learning adventure for everyone. Start planning your trip and get some tickets today!

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Giraffe facts to know before your visit

Everyone loves giraffes! In fact, giraffes are often the most sought-after animal by visitors. While they certainly look unusual, towering over every other animal, they are actually interested in many ways. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting facts about our long-neck friends to help you get ready for your next visit.

Social Animals

Giraffes are friendly animals by nature. Wild giraffes live in herds and spend their time traveling, eating, and resting together. Ironically, a group of giraffes is called a tower! Not only do they enjoy being surrounded by other giraffes, they often enjoy the humans as well. They will eat from your hand and may even enjoy the occasional head pet!

Giraffes are Vegetarian 

Giraffes are huge animals, and they’re entirely powered by plants! These vegetarians eat all types of greenery, from leaves and twigs to berries and seeds. Their favorite type of leafy treats come from the mimosa and acacia trees, and they are known to eat up to 100 pounds of plants a day. Their long tongues help them pull down leaves growing up high. They can get all of their nutrients, and water, just from plants!

They don’t drink much 

It’s surprising to hear that a giraffe can go a long time without drinking, and when they do drink they don’t need much, but it’s true! Their diet of plants is water-dense, which means they don’t have to venture to a watering hole as often as other animals. This helps them out in the long run since they don’t have to make themselves vulnerable in a watering hole. This is especially helpful since it’s hard for them to lower their heads to drink.

They are fast! 

Giraffes are surprisingly fast animals. They have powerful muscles and long legs that take large strides. This allows them to reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour! While impressive, this speed isn’t sustainable, just long enough to help them get out of dangerous situations. But with their long gait, even a leisurely trot can seem pretty quick!

They love a sweet treat

Giraffes love mangoes!

Male giraffes & necking

Necking is when male giraffes engage in battles called necking, where they use their heads to see who is stronger.

Giraffe Babies

When you think of “babies” you think of something small and cute, but giraffe calf are born weighing around 150 pounds! They are also about 6 feet tall at birth. Their impressive size comes in handy because they fall about 5 feet at birth and can start walking just about an hour after birth. So while they aren’t small, they are still very cute!

Tallest mammal in the world

Giraffes can be between 16 – 20ft tall. Their legs are taller than most humans at an average of 6 feet.

Giraffe Packs

Giraffes form small groups of three to nine animals per pack. Male giraffes typically form one pack, sometimes with one female giraffe, usually the sister or mother giraffes.


As you can see, giraffes are not only beautiful, but they’re pretty unique as well! From their long lives and long necks to their natural speed, these gentle giants are endlessly fascinating. If you love giraffes and want to see one in person, visit us! We have a new giraffe barn that you’ll enjoy exploring, and you can get tickets to save yourself the wait!


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Stay cool the wild animal way: Unique ways animals beat the heat

Have you ever been curious as to how animals in the wild stay cool, even during the hottest parts of the year? AC and iced coffee might do the trick for us, but our animal friends don’t have it so easy. While we keep the animals in our park safe and sound all year long, their wild counterparts aren’t so lucky.  

Animals have had to get used to taking on the heat and sometimes they do it in pretty interesting ways. Let’s look at some of the ways animals in the wild beat the heat. 

The Camel

When one thinks of an animal that is resilient to the heat and built for the high temperatures of summer, the camel often comes to mind. They live and survive in arid climates, and they do so with fewer resources than most animals are used to. While many think their ability to live in the dry heat comes from storing water in their humps, this isn’t the case. A camel’s humps store fatty tissues which help them survive when there’s little food. And their body has adapted to only store fat in the humps, not all over their body. This makes it easier to regulate their body temperature. Lastly, camels have blood cells that let them retain water and stave dehydration far more efficiently. Watch this video to learn more about camels and how they’ve adapted to live in hard environments.

The Ostrich

There’s no doubt about it, the ostrich is an interesting-looking animal. They have long legs, long necks, and fuzzy feathers distributed mostly on their wings and torsos. While they may seem a bit odd at first glance, their unique appearance actually serves a purpose. Parts of their body are not covered by feathers at all, like the area under their wings and thighs. When it’s hot, they can lift their wings and allow air to reach their exposed skin, cooling them off far more efficiently than if they were covered in feathers. This allows their featherless sides to breathe and increases air circulation over their entire body.

The Tortoise

The tortoise is a naturally cold-blooded animal, so they naturally live in warmer climates. Tortoises will bask in the sun to warm up, staying exposed until their body temperature has reached the right level. This doesn’t mean, however, that they are completely immune to the heat. When a tortoise has had enough sun, they instinctively go for the shade, just like we do!  You may also find them in areas of high vegetation or even burrowed in the ground. This lets them cool off and provides shelter from direct sunlight.


Elk live in woodlands all across North American, including parts of Canada. Because they live in wooded areas, they often experience a full range of weather, from harsh winters to hot summers. These large animals may seem more suited to cope with the cold, but they have adapted to deal with the heat and humidity that come during the summer months. They also spend long hours happing in the shade, moving more in twilight hours when the sun is less direct. Whenever possible, they will take advantage of bodies of water and heavy vegetation

As you can see, coping with the heat of summer has led to some pretty interesting adaptations. So while animals can’t just turn on the AC, they’ve certainly figured out a lot of interesting ways to deal with the heat. Of course, you can always take a drive through our park to see many animals in person, but feel free to crank up the AC on your way through. 

Sources: //southafrica.co.za/how-do-ostriches-adapt-to-the-heat.html#:~:text=Ostriches%20use%20their%20wings%20as,wings%20to%20shade%20their%20chicks.  | //www.rmef.org/elk-facts/   (also in line links)

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