Aurora's Phillips Park Zoo provides a colorful oasis

 
Daily Herald report
Updated 7/5/2019 6:21 AM

River otters.

Gray wolves.

A mountain lion.

Even an alligator.

You can find them all -- and many other creatures ranging from bald eagles to great horned owls and from llamas to elk -- within an easy stroll from one another at the Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora.

Nestled in the park at 1000 Ray Moses Drive, the zoo was established more than 100 years ago in 1915 and its mission has remained largely the same: to provide a safe environment where students and visitors can gain a better understanding of the animal world and its environment through recreation and education, as well as providing professional care for the animals housed here.

When Brookfield Zoo opened in 1934, the folks running Phillips decided to focus primarily on native animals and that's still the case today.

Admission is free and the zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the exception of a few holidays. For details on the zoo, its exhibits and its educational programs, call (630) 256-3860 or visit aurora-il.org.

A peacock shows off its brilliant colors at Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora.
  A peacock shows off its brilliant colors at Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora.
Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
Visitors get a look at an American alligator in the reptile house, which was renovated in 2006.
  Visitors get a look at an American alligator in the reptile house, which was renovated in 2006.
Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
Jensen Kuecker, 3, of Woodridge, takes a look at a one of the snakes in the reptile house. Among the snakes on exhibit: western fox snake, California kingsnake, ball python, Burmese python, red tail boa constrictor and a red milk snake.
  Jensen Kuecker, 3, of Woodridge, takes a look at a one of the snakes in the reptile house. Among the snakes on exhibit: western fox snake, California kingsnake, ball python, Burmese python, red tail boa constrictor and a red milk snake.
Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
Elk cool off in the water at the zoo, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of some holidays.
  Elk cool off in the water at the zoo, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of some holidays.
Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
Thomas Kristofik, 2, of Naperville, looks through the fence at llamas during a visit to the zoo.
  Thomas Kristofik, 2, of Naperville, looks through the fence at llamas during a visit to the zoo.
Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
A mountain lion peers out from his enclosure.
  A mountain lion peers out from his enclosure.
Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
Visitors take a look at elk from behind a fence at Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora.
  Visitors take a look at elk from behind a fence at Phillips Park Zoo in Aurora.
Bev Horne | Staff Photographer
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