Inaugurated in 2017, Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium is home to one of the largest immersive animal exhibitions in the world.

It offers visitors of all ages a learning experience in a museum larger in size and in scope than the widely known Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in New York. 

Johnny Morris, conservationist, outdoorsman and founder of Bass Pro Shops, built the museum next door to the Bass Pro headquarters in Springfield. Its mission is to honor adventurers, hunters, anglers and conservationists who help protect the world's ecosystem.

The state-of-the-art facility, which has 350,00 square feet of space, holds 35,000 live animals, including at least 800 types of fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds from all around the globe.

Visitors walk a 1.5-mile path through immersive habitats like the African savanna, the Himalayas, the Great Plains, the Amazon and more. The detailed habitats hold live animals —  jellyfish, flamingos, seahorses, piranhas, black bears, sharks and anacondas, among them.

The numerous aquariums filled with fish hold 1.5 million gallons of water, and authentic-looking 4-D taxidermy recreations of animals also tell the story of the planet's ecosystems along the way.

The path also takes visitors through two fishing halls of fame and educational exhibits that celebrate well-known conservationists from Lewis and Clark to Teddy Roosevelt. There are also boats that belonged to iconic authors such as Ernest Hemingway and Zane Grey on display.

  • Community reporter for the 2019 spring semester. Studying convergence journalism. Reach me @, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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