bison and bobcats and bears, oh my!

It was a beautiful day in central Illinois yesterday, so my mom and I got in the car and headed to Wildlife Prairie State Park. The park was conceived in the 1960s as a location for the Brookfield Zoo to raise exotic endangered animals. This idea was abandoned in the planning stages, but the general concept stuck, and the land owners re-imagined the space as an Illinois-centric animal park. It opened in 1978 and was privately-owned until 2000, when it became a state park.

I don’t think I had been to the park since I was a small child, and we had such a good time!


deer relaxing on the prairie

bobcat on the move

all of the birds of prey at the park are injured and wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild

petting the sheep in the petting zoo

cougar relaxing

That cougar may have looked calm and laid-back, but he (she?) and his friend were the most active animals we saw. When we approached the enclosure, one of them spotted us and walked deliberately across their area towards us. They then proceeded to pace, while growling, under the bridge we were standing on. When we checked back on them later, they sat there and stared at us.

Other animals seen not pictured include wolves, foxes, badgers, eagles, hawks, bison, bears, and other farm animals (goats, horses, donkeys, chickens). I don’t have my pictures on Flickr yet, but Wildlife Prairie State Park has its own Flickr pool.

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