If you’ve been to Colorado Springs, Colorado, you’ve undoubtedly seen the wall of mountains that borders the western side of the city. One of the several peaks that make up this stretch is Cheyenne Mountain, located southwest of downtown. It’s easily recognizable due to the many antennas on top associated with the famous NORAD facility. What many visitors don’t know is that this mountain is also home to one of the most unique zoos in the country, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

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Tiger - Cheyenne Mountain Zoo - Colorado Springs - Courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs - OutThere Colorado
Tiger at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Photo courtesy of Visit Colorado Springs.

At an elevation of 6,800 feet above sea level, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is home to more than 750 animals, representing over 150 different species, 30 of which happen to be endangered.

One exhibit that Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is known for is its giraffe exhibit. The design of this exhibit allows visitors to get up-close and personal with these majestic creatures, inviting patrons to take part in feeding. The herd found here is the largest Reticulated giraffe herd in the country.

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Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Photo Credit: Brandi Korte.

Another cool exhibit is the Australian Walkabout. Here, guests are able to roam amongst free-ranging wallabies for a very unique experience.

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is also home to a chair-lift ride that takes passengers up steep terrain and over goats, bears, and tigers, all while delivering great scenery views of the surrounding area.

The zoo was originally built in 1926 by Spencer Penrose, a local philanthropist, as a means of housing his massive collection of exotic animals.

One unique aspect that makes Cheyenne Mountain Zoo stand out amongst other similar facilities (besides the fact that it’s on a mountain) is that Cheyenne Mountain Zoo does not receive any local or regional public tax support.

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Ryan Janus, left, holds his son Tyler Sargeant, 7, as he reacts after feeding a giraffe at the Nursing and Therapy Services of Colorado night at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Thursday, July 10, 2014. Janus and Sargeant joined about 600 other NTSOC clients and employees at the private event. Michael Ciaglo, The Gazette

Visiting Cheyenne Mountain Zoo also grants guests access to another Colorado Springs attraction, the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun. From here, visitors get a great view of Colorado Springs in its entirety. It’s easy to spot in the hills above the giraffe exhibit on a clear day.

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