Hattiesburg Zoo: A Hidden Gem in the Hub
A little history....
The 40 acres for Kamper Park was donated to the Daughters of the Confederacy by John Kamper in 1902, and was given in turn to Hattiesburg in 1908 for a public park. The zoo was opened on about 12 acres of the 40-acre park in 1950.
What you will see!
The zoo is located within Kamper Park among a grove of oak and pine trees. Upon entering the Zoo, visitors pass through a promenade that contains Prairie dogs and leads to the Africa section. The Africa are contains, servals, zebras, ostrichs antelope, and monkeys. In the, South American exhibit you will find capybaras, tapirs, iguanas, jaguars, and howler monkeys. The tiger boardwalk gives a close view of American alligators.
Kamper Park has landscaped walking trails, tennis courts, grassy picnic areas, and playgrounds.
Hours: 10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday
Children under 2 FREE
Children 2 through 12 $5.00
Rides & Services:
Train ticket $2.00
Stroller rental $5.00
Entrance of the zoo
Let's go to the zoo!
On a recent blistering hot afternoon, hugged in humidity, we decided to take a break from College dorm preparations and visit the local zoo. As we passed through the entrance we were met by these beautiful metal sculptures. My son pondered the idea of climbing onto the back of a metallic goat the entrance to the Hattiesburg Zoo, but changed his mind when he touched it and felt the heat emanating from it.
Hattiesburg Zoo is located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. This area is affectionately called the Hub.....
It is also home to the University of Southern Mississippi, my Alma Mater.
Train ride throughout the Zoo
- Asbury Discover Center
- Train ride around the zoo
- Concession stand
- Gift shop
- Splash Pad
- Parris Jewelers Mining Sluice
- African Drum Station
- Touch Africa Petting Zoo
Asbury Discovery Center
We simply just had to peek inside the Asbury Discovery Center. The animals in the glass containers beckoned us. Every nook of the classroom is filled with hidden surprises. If you play nice, some of them may even come out to play!
Asbury Discovery Center
African Drum Station
Live from the African Drum Station
The Hattiesburg Zoo has certainly grown since I was a student at USM. In the last year alone, Hattiesburg zoo has welcomed Sumatran tigers, Kune-Kune pigs, a giant anteater and one of its biggest hits, Mo, a two-toed sloth.
Visiting Africa: Zebra
Still Strolling through Africa
Visiting Africa: Elands
Visiting Africa: Emu
We were very blessed that day to be able to go behind the scenes and see some attractions up close. Nicholas had a blast.
Private Behind-the-Scenes Tour
Visiting Tibet: Prayer flags
A prayer flag is a colorful rectangular cloth, often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside and for other purposes.
Visiting Tibet: Prayer Flags
The Hattiesburg Zoo announced the addition of two Sumatran Tigers to the Zoo’s animal collection Saturday, March 8 during a public unveiling.
The male siblings were born on August 6, 2011 at the Los Angeles Zoo and given the names Kuasa and Cinta. Today, the tigers each weigh more than 200 lbs and are much smaller than the Zoo’s existing Siberian tiger, Tigger.
Visiting Tibet: The Tigers
Flamingos and Swans at the Hattiesburg
The playground was placed in a very strategic location...right beside the Chilean flamingo and swan exhibit. I thoroughly enjoyed taking pictures of their graceful nature as my children romped in the playground nearby.
Visiting Chile: Chilean Flamingos and Swans
Time to play!
After spending the afternoon outdoors visiting with our favorite animals, it was time to cool off in the Splash Pad! With more than 30 jets shooting up to 14 feet in the air and plenty of space for everyone, the Splash Pad was the perfect ending to a hot but fun-filled day at the Zoo. I was able to sit by and enjoy the excitement from a nearby, splash-free 2,400 sq. foot shade structure with free Wi-Fi and convenient access to a variety of refreshments just a few steps away in the concession stand
Time to PLAY!!
Other sights around the Zoo
We were told by the train conductor that we picked the perfect day to visit, as the peacocks had been shedding feathers. He disappeared into his office and returned with a few treasures for Nicholas.
Peacock at the Hattiesburg Zoo
Time to go!
After a glorious visit to the tiny gem, Hattiesburg Zoo, it was time to go, but I believe it deserves two hands up. Great family zoo for a short family visit.
If you're in town for a football at USM or just passing through on your way to New Orleans, it is definitely worth a stop. The staff are very friendly, and are constantly working to improve the facilities to make your visit as enjoyable as possible.
We will definitely be back!
Where it's located!
So tell me what you think!!
What do you think about Hattiesburg Zoo?
The Gears at Hattiesburg Zoo
Make Hattiesburg Zoo Your Next Adventure!
© 2015 Gina Welds Hulse