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Bramble Park Zoo, Watertown
(4.5/5 based on 80+ reviews on the web)
Bramble Park Zoo is located in Watertown, South Dakota. Open since 1912, the zoo comprises 15acre with approximately 500 animals representing 130 different species.Bramble Park Zoo has been an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) since 1993.HistoryThe zoo was opened in 1912, and is named after Frank Bramble, who donated pheasants and other birds to the town to put on display. By 1940, the zoo had outgrown its original facility, and was moved to its current location. The new exhibits for the zoo were constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).In 1972, the Lake Area Zoological Society (LAZS) was created "to provide significant assistance in the growth, development and professionalism of the Zoo." The LAZS puts out a quarterly publication called animal chatter.In the 1990s, the zoo received accreditation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) (1993), hired its first full-time educator (1996), and built the Discovery Center and a new front entrance to the zoo (1997). With money from the city and an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant, the zoo also renovated animal-holding areas and other infrastructure, constructed additional raptor rehabilitation areas, and revitalized the primate exhibits.Throughout the first decade of the 21st century,the zoo continued to update and expand its exhibits. It created a walk-through Australian Adventure exhibit and a short grass prairie garden. In May 2010, the Terry Redlin Environmental Center opened, which includes a variety of aquariums, which were donated by Terry Redlin's son. It also includes educational activities, smaller animal exhibits, and two new educational classrooms. The new center is connected to the Discovery Center building at the entrance of the zoo.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Great activity for families. They offer a nice variety of animals at an affordable price. Many recent updates made. 
  • We went to Bramble Park Zoo with our 5 year old granddaughter. She had a mini donkey lick her tummy. She loved it. Of course she was feeding him at the time. She loved feeding the ducks too. Love the ...  more »
  • This was a great Zoo for the area. We were very pleased with staff and the great little gem for this small town in South Dakota. We were up there for a State Softball Tournament and we had a blast at ...  more »
Google
  • For SD zoo's it's good. Not a lot of animals i wasn't impressed having been to much larger zoo's but my 5 year old son loved it especially the petting zoo portion
  • Beautiful, peaceful and fun for entire family. Also, the zookeepers here are top notch! 😁
  • Awesome small zoo. Cool animals, didnt expect to see a snow leopard, or tiger in Watertown, SD.
  • It's a smaller zoo that is great for younger children. The new petting zoo in the barn and the otter exhibit is great. There's not large crowds to deal with, either. Go in the morning before noon during the summer before it gets too hot because the animals are much more active. My children (8 and 3) and I really enjoyed this zoo. And we will continue to go back.
  • They boast 500-800 animals, but it's not true. It's sad. They don't even have the petting zoo anymore and the one carousel they had for little kids over where the petting zoo used to be doesn't even work. The person who takes your money is also the food person and the gift shop person, so if she's busy helping someone else in one of those areas, you're going to wait a while. The penguin area was empty both of the last two times we went. Also, the alligators haven't been around. They have areas marked for specific animals, but they've been gone awhile. If you have babies and young toddlers who don't really care about seeing big animals or specific animals, and one's that are happy seeing a couple of main ones like monkey's and buffalo (which you see a lot in SD anyway), then they would enjoy this zoo. If you have older kids who like to mark off all the animals they see, or kids that want a petting zoo or more advanced animals (lions, tigers, and bears, oh, my!), then I suggest you drive to Sioux Falls - it's worth it there for sure.