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Check Out Minnesota’s Exciting Wildlife & Zoos

See why the Lake Superior Zoo in Duluth is such a highlight of the Minnesota outdoors. Visit the petting zoo at the Farm Exhibit and the Primate Conservation Zoo Center. Stop at the Butterfly House exhibit and observe six species of native North American butterflies flying all over the flowers they pollinate. 

Get educated about an important but vanishing part of Gopher State history by visiting the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center in Fergus Falls. Home to a variety of prairie wetlands, the Center teaches future generations about the importance of this essential wildlife habitat.

Plan a visit to Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge and get up close and personal to see the moose, wolves, and hundreds of different kinds of birds.

Explore another gem of Minnesota wilderness at the Quarry Hill Nature Center of Rochester. Housing a complete learning center, you’ll learn about the important role raptor birds of play create in the Minnesota environment. See an actual beehive in constant action. There are several hiking trails too, so you can view the local wildlife, birds, and plants while you’re here.

Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge

Head into northern Minnesota and check out the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge. Only minutes north of Thief River Falls, Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge is roughly 61,500 acres of land dedicated to the preservation of moose, wolves, certain waterfowl, and 294 species of birds. Plan a visit soon and be one of the 20,000 annual visitors the refuge receives.

Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 37,400 acres of wetlands, 9,900 acres of forestland, 1,700 acres of grassland, 11,650 acres of shrublands, and 150 acres of cropland. Explore northern Minnesota in the spring, summer, fall, or winter – you really can't go wrong.

Lake Superior Zoo

Encompassing roughly 16 acres at the foot of Spirit Mountain, the Lake Superior Zoo is found in the lakeside city of Duluth in northern Minnesota. The zoo is home to variety of naturalistic animal exhibits, including the Australian Outback, Northern Territory, African Savanna, and more.

A fan-favorite – the Polar Shores – showcases "Berlin," the zoo's beloved polar bear and her friends, the North American River Otters, harbor seals and snowy owls. Young ones enjoy spending time in the Lake Superior Children's Zoo, where they can get up-close-and-personal with a host of farm animals.

Prairie Wetlands Learning Center

Located in the Townsend Waterfowl Production Area, the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center is a 330-acre area near Fergus Falls, dedicated to the study of wetlands and prairies. The center contains more than 20 wetlands, native prairie land, and more than 180 species of birds.

The center is operated by the state of Minnesota and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Stroll through the Visitor Center to view the exhibits or bring along comfortable shoes and a camera for hiking along the 3.5 miles of trails.

Quarry Hill Nature Center

Spanning nearly 320 acres of beautiful Minnesota scenery, the Quarry Hill Nature Center and Park combine for seemingly endless outdoor recreation and discovery opportunities. The nature center is found in the southeaster city of Rochester – not far from Red Wing and Albert Lea.

A stop at the nature center entails a visit to Quarry Hill Nature Center's Exploration Hall – featuring hands-on displays, live animals on exhibit, and a massive aquarium. Quarry Hill Park, however, showcases the scenery surrounding with an excess of hiking trails, two ponds, fossil hunting, and more.

Tamarack Nature Center

Set on 320 acres, the Tamarack Nature Center is a scenic nature preserve located near White Bear Lake – only minutes from the Twin Cities metro area. The nature center is a part of the larger Bald Eagle-Otter Lakes Regional Park – preserving some of the best native wildlife and scenery in the Gopher State.

Visitors can enjoy over four miles of trails, exploring some of the great scenery, as well as special programs and educational events. Other must-sees include the Discovery Hollow and Garden and plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation.

Great Lakes Aquarium

Founded in 2000, the Great Lakes Aquarium features animals and habitats found in the Great Lakes Basin and in other freshwater locations around the world. The Aquarium hosts a variety of traveling and permanent exhibits and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Explore this 62,000 square-foot facility, located in Duluth, and housing 205 different species of fish, birds, reptiles, and mammals, most of which are native to Minnesota's freshwaters. Don't miss permanent exhibitions of nearby Isle Royale, Saint Louis River, and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.