Branson’s Promised Land Zoo Brings Kids and Animals Together
Story and Photos By Dave Woods • Official Kids Mag
Marcia Phillips knows how to keep a kid’s attention.
“Put a baby kangaroo in someone’s lap,” she said, “Oh yea, they are willing to listen to anything you have to say.” Marcia is a zookeeper and education program coordinator at the Promised Land Zoo in Branson.
She takes teaching kids about nature, animals and the environment seriously. “Our main goal is to have the kids and their families develop a relationship with the animals,” she said of the Branson zoo and animal attraction. “That’s why we believe in the power of touch. They touch these animals and develop a relationship with them. They learn to love that animal and learn to care about their cousins in the wild. It gives us hope for the future of these animals.”
Providing kids the opportunity to feed, hold and interact with the zoo’s animal inhabitants is why Promised Land Zoo is an Official Kids Mag Kids Pick.
Ranked as a Top 25 Zoo in the United States, and located on more that 75-acres in the heart of Branson, Promised Land Zoo offers live animal shows, a self guided foot safari, a two-mile drive-thru safari, petting zoo and the Parakeet Paradise.
“Don’t miss the Parakeet Paradise,” Marcia said. “Everybody gets a free parakeet stick to feed the birds. The birds will land on your stick to eat the seeds off it. The petting zoo is a lot of fun. How often are people going to have the opportunity to pet a baby kangaroo?”
Promise Land Zoo offers many options to see and interact with animals often only seen in the wild. The zoo features African water buffalo, American elk, Nubian ibex, Asian owls and dozens of other species, some of which are endangered in the wild. The zoo includes a reptile room and sloth and lemur habitats.
“People think the sloths are faster than they are expected to be,” Marcia said. “It’s usually just a lot of awe when people see them. When we bring people in with the slots we see tears and we see laughter. It’s just amazement because these animals are so different than the ones we are used to seeing.”
The zoo offers an admission package that includes an up-close encounter with sloths named Blondie, Scarface and Baby. Mace, a two-year-old reticulated giraffe, is another popular attraction kids love.
“It’s a huge responsibility to take care of these animals,” Marcia said. “We take it very seriously. When people walk away from the zoo we want them to know we absolutely love these animals; that we give them the best possible life while they are under our care, and hope folks do the same for any animals under their care.”
Come see us!
• Every admission includes live animal shows, a self-guided foot safari, a two-mile drive-thru safari, and Parakeet Paradise.
• Get closer with a Better Experience admission, which includes a guided tram tour inside the animal enclosures and a unique VIP animal encounter with four or five not on public display.
• The Best Experience admission includes an exclusive, private encounter with unique animals not on display.