Traveling Around - Hattiesburg Zoo - Hattiesburg, MS
Hattiesburg Zoo is a small zoo that is located in the north central portion of Hattiesburg, MS. It opened in about 1950 and houses some 55 varieties of animals. It covers 12 acres and much of it is ponds and lakes. A wide paved area leads from the parking lot to a gift shop or to the entrance turnstile where admission is paid and maps are available.
Once inside, a walkway leads to the exhibit area. Immediately to the right is the small train station which pulls its small sight seeing cars around the outside of the zoo. There are views of most of the animals in the zoo as the train makes its way around.
Following the pathway to the end winds up at an enclosure that contains two zebras. There is also a large caged enclosure that houses an ostrich.
There is a circular path in the area where the zebras are located that takes you around the Africa Petting Zoo. Children (and adults) are let in through a short series of gates and there are several different tame animals to pet.
As you return towards the entrance and pass the large Gopher Tortoise (not in the petting area), a paved path branches off to the right.
Immediately to the right are the Sumatran Tigers. They were sleeping peacefully in the sun when we were there.
Following that path will lead you to a large water area. In a contained area, it initially contains a happily waiting alligator. Past him, there is a large water area that contains a myriad of water fowl. Bright colors are the order of the day in this area.
It also takes you by the High Ropes Adventure Course. It is a multiple story structure that is outfitted with overhead track and pulleys. Participants can hook up and careen down the inside of the structure to arrive at the ground level. Several young people were on the structure but none of them had to courage to hook up and let go while we were viewing.
You pass the Flamingo Pavilion and cross the water on a footbridge. This paved pathway leads you across the water and into another animal viewing area. The paved walkway leads through the viewing area to the Safari Grill where snacks and sandwiches are sold.
Just outside the picnic table and seating area which is for resting and eating, there is a statue of a ferocious tiger. Although it looks to be indestructible, the statue shows the effects of generations of school children admiring it.
We spent a couple hours wandering around the zoo looking at the animals and watching the children having a grand time. Seemed that a lot of the children we saw were pre-school age and none of them seemed bored or out of sorts so there must have been displays that held their interest.
The zoo is closed on Monday but open from 10 until 4 the other 6 days. There is an admission charge and the details are discussed at a very informative web site.