Wonders of Wildlife: a vision made a reality.
I remember touring the Wonders of Wildlife sometime in the early 00’s. It was a large building with a mock Forest set up and some wild animals running around. I thought how cool it was to have river otters running around and jumping down a slide. This was right next door to Bass Pro Shops Springfield Mo a place I had run around and played since I was a small child.
Sometime mid 00’s Johnny Morris, Bass Pro founder, owner, and CEO closed down the Wonders of Wildlife. As time went bye rumors started to swirl about when it would reopen. Seemingly a date would be set, pass then reset. Rumor was the project would get close and Johnny unhappy would ask it be pushed farther and bigger. It almost became a running joke to native ozarkians. In 2016 it was finally announced that it was complete and would open in 2017.
Fast forward to September 2017 and we took our first official tour. All I can say is it was worth the wait. What seemed like a 2 mile walk through a winding path of displays and wild animals each more beautiful than the last. No detail was omitted or ignored. My favorite part was the aquariums grand entrance with a large 4 story tank on display only to look overhead and see a full size humpback whale on display suspended from the cieling. No longer a running joke but now a true master piece right here in the Ozarks. The price point while seems expensive to locals including myself who have been spoiled to grow up in the grand daddy of the all of Bass Pro Springfield, once we walked inside we understood why. When you compare the aquarium with every other professional aquarium it was right in line with the rest.
So if you are a local or just passing through looking for something amazing to see stop by Sunshine and Campbell and go tour the Wonders of Wildlife and leave in awe as we did.