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Zoos, Birding, and Watching Arkansas Wildlife

From black bears to butterflies, elk to cave crayfish – Arkansas’ six distinct ecosystems offer exciting opportunities for viewing wildlife. In spring and fall, the state is a popular stop for migrating songbirds, ducks, geese, and butterflies. Elk can often be spotted along the Buffalo National River.

Caves in the northern mountains provide shelter for endangered creatures like the cave crayfish and Ozark cavefish. Home to 200 different species, the Little Rock Zoo is the best in the state. For drive-through wildlife watching, the Wild Wilderness Safari near Gentry features rhinos and big cats – plus a petting zoo at the end.

You can also glimpse wildlife at Arkansas’ state parks, many of which provide Watchable Wildlife viewing guides to help you find creatures great and small.

Dale Bumpers White River Wildlife Refuge

Spread across 160,000 acres, the Dale Bumpers White River National Wildlife Refuge preserves delicate ecosystems and wildlife native to the White River in the Delta region. Check out the visitor center in St. Charles for pertinent information and exhibits before heading out.

Visitors are invited to explore the depths of the Bottomland Hardwood Forest, and enjoy activities like fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, and paddling. Check out scenic highlights along the CCC Trail, Observation tower, Big Island Chute Trail, and Upland Trail.

Delta Rivers Nature Center

Found alongside the Arkansas River, the Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff preserves and showcases the unique Delta/central AR ecosystems. Inside the nature center, check out the variety of exhibits, including the River Rat House Boat Theater.

Be sure and check out the 20,000-gallon Oxbow and Delta Rivers Aquariums, each housing fish and other aquatic creatures native to the area. Four trails crisscross the 130-acre grounds – see the Black Dog Bayou and Lake Langhofer up close.