One of my passions, or “3 Quarters” is the Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha Nebraska. While my son was on leave from the Marines it was a trip we had to make as it has been a summer tradition and at least one annual trip every year. (when the kids were smaller it was several times a year) So enjoy a few pictures from the Lied Jungle and I’ll give a few facts along the way. Did you know that this big zoo in the little city of Omaha Nebraska has been voted the Best Zoo in America? Bet not, but the indoor rainforest is just one of the reasons.
The Lied Jungle was built in 1992 and is eight stories tall and has over 90 different species of animals living in both secure habits and roaming the paths and treetops. Many times I’ve seen a Golden Lion Tamarin in the branches above me. All the plants are real and it’s difficult to tell which vines are fake and hold mechanical cables.
I’ve lost track of how many waterfalls there are, but I seem to remember a number over twenty. To walk through the Lied Jungle the first time would take several hours. There are many nooks and crannies to explore. One of our favorite is the small overlook at the top of the tallest 50 foot waterfall. I didn’t even know my son was standing up there when I took this picture. So many great photo opp locations. I have been bemoaning the fact we don’t have any waterfalls here, but there are twenty waterfalls right in Omaha Nebraska, what am I thinking?
Covering one and a half acres directly inside the main gate, the Lied Jungle® has 123,000 square feet of floor space with 61,000 square feet of planted exhibit space, 35,000 square feet of display management area and 11,000 square feet of education space. One time I even saw real bananas growing in a clump on the forest floor.
At one time you could see all the way across the jungle, now the plants and trees have grown to tall it’s truly a jungle environment. The animals in the beginning were damaging the plants too quickly, monkeys and the birds were shredding the leaves for nesting and food. Now they can’t tear it apart fast enough, it is truly a jungle environment.
I love the waterfalls, you can walk underneath, beside and touch the water, including a swinging rope bridge.
You might be asking, so, where is the rope bridge? My picture this year didn’t turn out good, so below is one from last years trip. I love this bridge, it swings, it’s wet, it’s very cool and so much fun! For those less adventurous, or with a baby stroller, wheelchair, etc. there is a path through the caves.
The Gorilla Complex is also another highlight of the zoo and who would of known we would have such world class attractions in Omaha Nebraska. Not only do we have the Best Zoo in America, but recently received the Largest Zoo in the World recognition. If any of my readers ever come to Omaha, seriously contact me, I will met you there and give you a personal tour. I love it that much.