Catch up with the latest news at LRZ with articles, press releases, and other fun updates

written and created by Zoo Staff.


The Lee Richardson Zoo is currently open daily from 8AM to 7PM with the drive through closing at 6PM.


The Finnup Center for Conservation Education will be open Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM.

Guests may notice a few changes during their next visit.  The zoo will have two entry gates open at the archway main entrance to allow separate paths of entry and exit. 

Beginning at the entrance, and throughout the zoo’s pathways, guests will find yellow paw prints on the sidewalk spaced six feet apart as a reminder to practice social distancing from other zoo guests. 

Guests are encouraged to avoid large groups, wear masks, and to wash their hands after using high touch areas such as pop machines, water fountains, playground equipment, and interactive displays. 


The Marie Osterbuhr Aviary will remain temporarily closed. 


Thank you for your support of Lee Richardson Zoo, we look forward to having you back safely. 

LRZ is Open!

Enjoy the Zoo Experience

By Kristi Newland, Zoo Director

The weather is warming up.  Flowers and trees are blooming.  It’s a good time to enjoy the great outdoors and Lee Richardson Zoo!  The zoo has something for everyone.

Watch the baby rhino and other animal favorites.  Animal species from around the world reside at Lee Richardson Zoo.  There are carnivores, raptors, waterfowl, hooved animals, tall ones, short ones, tan ones, spotted ones, noisy ones, and quiet ones.  Many of the species face challenges in the wild that threaten their continued survival.  It is a unique opportunity to connect with animals such as the critically endangered black rhino, the lemurs of Primate Forest, or a number of other species with which we share the planet.

You can visit the zoo by yourself, with your friends, or your family.  The zoo provides a family-friendly environment and is a great place to enjoy alone time or family time.  Family time outside is a great way to improve family bonds.  Whether it is walking through the zoo with your family and stopping along the way to watch all the animals or enjoying a picnic on the west side of the zoo, family time is fun time at the zoo!  There are two picnic shelters, a number of picnic tables and small grills in a wide-open space that is easily accessed by walking paths or the zoo road.

Visiting the zoo is a good way to reduce stress and become more focused.  Time outdoors has been proven to reduce stress in adults.  Unstructured play outside in nature has also been proven to help children become more self-reliant, more focused, more creative, and improves their problem-solving skills.

It is a great opportunity to get your steps in while enjoying a pleasant outdoor environment.  The zoo is free to pedestrians and has over two miles of shady, landscaped walking paths as well as the walking trail surrounding the zoo campus.   There is a lot to see while you travel along the pathways, so there is no need to worry about getting bored along the way.  Benches can be found along the trails if you need to take a break during your trek.

There are multiple transportation options available if you would rather not walk.  The popular Safari Cycles are back!  These can be rented at the Safari Shoppe and come in a variety of sizes.  If pedaling through the zoo is not your thing, driving your own vehicle is also an option.  There is a $10/day fee for driving through unless you have a Friends of Lee Richardson Zoo Membership; with a membership driving through is free.  Memberships can be purchased at the zoo (Safari Shoppe, 4th Street gatehouse, Finnup Center for Conservation Education) or online at folrz.com.  They make great gifts too.

The zoo offers engaging learning experiences.  Zoo Edventures Summer Camp will be taking place in June and July.   Camp registration is now open for those going into 1st grade through 6th grade.  Each camp session is for one week (Monday – Friday) from 8 am to noon.  There are two week-long sessions for each age group during the summer.  Registration is $85 (or $75 for FOLRZ members), and space is limited.  For more information, visit the zoo’s website or Facebook page, drop by the Finnup Center for Conservation Education, email zoo.education@gardencityks.us or call us at 620-276-1250.

Looking ahead, mark your calendar for FOLRZ’s Jungle Run Auto show and the Finney County Historical Museum’s Flea Market Festival on July 10th.   For updates on zoo events, visit our website (www.leerichardsonzoo.org) or our Facebook page.  You can also enjoy zoo videos on our YouTube channel.


Bobcat Birthdays!

Article and Photo By Alyssa Mechler, Education Specialist

Lee Richardson Zoo is home to animals from all areas of the world; some of those animals we may even be able to find near us! The bobcat is a well-known small feline found across the United States, even reaching into Canada and Mexico. They are well known for their bobbed tails, which is where the name bobcat comes from. While the bobcat looks like a lynx, you can distinguish between the two by the bobcat’s smaller feet and shorter ear tufts. Yazi and Cactus are two resident bobcats at the Lee Richardson Zoo, both of whom celebrate a birthday in the springtime.

                Birthdays at the zoo are always a special occasion. With Yazi turning 8 on April 13 and Cactus turning 19 on May 7, these two celebrated with lots of fun birthday surprises! They received a three-tiered “cake” that featured different tasty frozen treats made specially by their keeper.  Their keeper also gifted them some browse (branches other animals munch on) from the giraffes, special scents spritzed throughout their habitat, a large box (cats love boxes), hay, and a couple of tasty mice. Yazi went straight for the ice cake while Cactus was more enthused by the mice. While Yazi continued to lick her way to the center of her cake, Cactus opted to take a nice birthday nap, occasionally coming out to check on Yazi. As the day went on, Yazi and Cactus explored more of their birthday gifts, enjoying all the new smells.

                Yazi and Cactus’s wild counterparts are often nocturnal, hunting at night for a variety of prey, and will spend most of their day in one of several dens throughout their territory. Yazi and Cactus share a hollowed-out log as their den. Visitors can often find them snuggled up in their log if they are not watching people pass by. Even though the bobcat is not an endangered species, it is important for us to respect them in the wild and keep our distance if we happen to spot one. Make sure to swing by Cat Canyon at the Lee Richardson Zoo to say, “Happy Birthday!” to Yazi and Cactus.


Ayubu's Morning Adventures

Enjoy a quick update on 3 month old black rhino calf Ayubu.