Joint Base Elmendorf – Richardson Community
Why the Alaska Zoo Near JBER Is One of the Nation’s Most Unique Zoos
Lions and tigers and bears… okay, maybe not lions, but the Alaska Zoo is offering visitors a walk on the wild side in the heart of Anchorage, AK. Home to a wide variety of Nature Preserves, it makes sense that Alaska doesn’t have as many zoos as one might think. The Final Frontier itself acts as a zoo of sorts, but with wild animals come dangers, and at the Alaskan Zoo, visitors can safely enjoy the company of a wide range of animals found both in Alaska and elsewhere.
This is a great place for families and a wonderful installation for the local environment as the zoo continues its commitment to helping injured animals and the conservation of a variety of species. It’s only around a 15-mile drive from JBER, which makes this a popular destination for military personnel and their families. Get to know the Anchorage zoo which brings in around 200,000 visitors per year.
Does Alaska Have a Zoo?
There are no penguins in Alaska, but there is a zoo. Zoos in Alaska may feel scarce, but the state makes up for its lack in quantity with its amazing quality. The Alaska Zoo in Anchorage, AK, represents the only zoo in the Last Frontier, and it features around 100 birds and mammals from 50 different species for visitors to enjoy and learn about. Established in 1969, the Alaska Zoo has helped animals through conservation, research, and education. Across the 25 acres of the property, you’ll find many different animals for viewing, including:
- Brown bears and black bears.
- Cranbeary the polar bear.
- Dall sheep and mountain goats.
- Amur tigers, snow leopards, and Canadian lynx.
- Bald eagles and golden eagles.
- Moose, caribou (reindeer), and Sitka black-tailed deer.
- Tibetan yaks.
- Harbor seals.
- Wolves and coyotes.
- Red foxes.
- Many, many more, such as porcupines, camels, alpacas, swans, owls, etc.
Visitors can enjoy not only learning about or seeing the animals but also feeding them, too, in the summer months. Offered from May 31st through Labor Day for $20 per person ages 3 and up, you can feed a variety of animals, including reindeer, moose, Sitka deer, black bears, and porcupines. Each feeding occurs with a guide and is around 30 minutes long. Reservations are not available, and your fee is in addition to the price of admission. Animals are subject to change at any time.
General Information About the Zoo
Visitors can enjoy the zoo seven days a week. There may be some closures due to holidays as the seasons change. The Alaska Zoo hours change throughout the year and are as follows:
- 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from November through February.
- 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during March, April, and October.
- 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during May and September.
- 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during June and August (summer hours).
Admission is affordable, providing value to each and every visitor. Fees and taxes may apply, and additional events such as feedings or the behind-the-scenes tour are extra. There are service fees for purchasing tickets online. Here’s how much general admission will cost you at the Alaska Zoo:
- $17 per non-resident adult ages 18 and up.
- Alaska adults (18+) who are residents can enter for only $15. Must show a valid Alaska ID; student IDs are not acceptable.
- Seniors ages 65+, as well as adults in the military who are either Veterans or serving on active duty with proof, can access the zoo for only $13 per person.
- Youth tickets for ages 3 through 17 are only $10.
- Kids 2 years old and under can enter for FREE.
COVID-19 policies and procedures, along with rate information, are available online. Any visitor age 15 or younger must be accompanied by an adult.
Military Members Save 10% on Alaska Zoo Membership
As a thank you to those serving at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson and elsewhere, if you apply for membership in person, military personnel can receive 10% off. It’s important to note that the online membership is not eligible for a discounted rate. Be sure to visit with proof of your service when applying for membership to ensure that you can receive your discount. The Alaska Zoo continues to be one of the premier places to visit when in Anchorage, Alaska.
Suggested read: With 490,000+ Acres, Alaska’s Chugach State Park Can’t Be Missed