Since 1926, the historic Wright Park Zoo has delighted and educated hundreds of thousands of visitors. Situated down the road from the Boot Hill Museum and downtown Dodge City, the Wright Park Zoo is an integral part of the vibrant cultural scene in the most notorious town of the Wild West.
In 1926, the City of Dodge City acquired two North American black bears and raccoons for display. Animal enclosures were scattered throughout the park until mid-1980 was when the zoo was consolidated into approximately four acres in the southwest section of the park. In the mid-1990s, an adjacent motorsports facility closed and the zoo acquired three additional acres for future expansion.
The zoo currently is home to over 50 animals representing approximately 30 species from almost every continent of the earth and entertains 60,000 visitors a year. In October of 2010, the zoo gained accreditation with the Zoological Association of America (ZAA), making it one of two zoos in Kansas to achieve such status.
In June of 2019, the Dodge City Commission voted to approve the Wright Park Zoo Master Plan, which will dramatically improve the animal enclosures, the zoo's landscaping, and the general visitor experience over the coming ten years. See here for the full details of the plan.
Friends of Wright Park Zoo
The Friends of Wright Park Zoo (FWPZ) and the City of Dodge City work together to make improvements to the zoo. Members are individuals from the community, or surrounding areas, who have an interest in helping the zoo.
The original FWPZ group was established sometime in the early ‘80s and then disbanded around 2009. The current, active FWPZ group hopes to take over where the previous group left off. The friends are the primary fundraising source for the zoo, and there are big shoes to fill. In the past FWPZ has contributed to various projects including renovating the landscaping at the zoo, providing new and expanded exhibits for the wolves, emu, and tigers, and providing enrichment items for the animals.
By raising awareness of the zoo and fundraising, the hope is to not only create a more enriching environment for the animals in the zoo’s care but to increase the ability of the zoo to educate our community with these unique experiences.
Monday - Saturday: 9am-5pm
Memorial Day through Labor Day Hours
Follow the Friends of Wright Park Zoo by clicking here.
While we ask visitors to provide a donation if possible, admission is always free!
Friends of Wright Park Zoo
PO Box 923
Dodge City, KS 67801
For any questions, please call: (620)-801-5148 or email Friends of Wright Park Zoo President Jill Ewy at jillatFWPZoo@gmail.com.