Posted by Paul Keenon
Cosley Zoo, Wheaton, Illinois - Director Susan Wahlgren
Cosley Zoo gives visitors up-close interactions with nature right in the heart of the suburbs. Nestled on 5 acres, Cosley Zoo is home to farm animals and native Illinois wildlife. Visitors will discover exhibits that immerse them in natural habitats for white-tailed deer, red fox, Blanding’s turtles, bobcats, a coyote, a black-crowned night heron, and more. Cosley Zoo is also a center for animal education and conservation, offering programs that teach young and old how to care for the world around them and give back to the communities in which they live, work, and play
A bit of history:
On November 9, 1973, Paula Jones donated 2.65 acres of land in honor of relative Harvey Cosley. It opened as Cosley's Children's Park and Museum on August 17, 1974. In 1975, the zoo acquired a retired caboose that sat next to the former train station. The zoo gained enough funding to expand by 2 acres in 1976. In the same year, the park changed its name to Cosley Animal Farm and Museum. In 1987, the Vern Keibler Learning Center was completed. The zoo continued adding exhibits and updating old ones to more natural-looking habitats. In 1999, the zoo staff and the Wheaton Park District decided to give the park its current name, Cosley Zoo. In 2000, the Zoo received accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It started its work with the DuPage County Forest Preserve District to rehabilitate Illinois' Blanding's Turtle population in the same year. In 2008, Cosley Zoo worked with an Eagle Scout to turn the old caboose shell into an interactive learning exhibit.