Wonders of Wildlife Museum – Springfield, Missouri - Atlas Obscura
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Springfield, Missouri

Wonders of Wildlife Museum

An unexpected but incredible collection of wildlife dioramas spanning rainforests, swamps, forests, and plains. 

Located right next door to the massive Bass Pro Shops headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, you’ll find one of the world’s largest exhibitions of wild animals and their habitats. The Wonders of Wildlife Museum was created to commemorate the history of conservation in America, from Native Americans to Lewis and Clark to Teddy Roosevelt to the present day. The end result is a unique emporium of flora and fauna, with the Amazon Rainforest, the Himalayan Mountains, and the Great Plains all under one roof.

Founded by Johnny Morris, a self-described “Walt Disney of the Outdoors,” the museum covers 350,000 square feet and features 1.5 miles of trails that weave through an elaborate array of natural landscapes. One of the most incredible exhibits is the 4-dimensional natural dioramas with hand-painted backgrounds and taxidermy animals like elephants, lions, crocodiles, bears, bison, and dozens of sheep.

Just as stunning are the live animals that can be found throughout the museum, including live bats and humongous aquariums with over 800 species of fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. The museum is also home to the National Archery Hall of Fame and National Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, as well as historic fishing boats once owned by Jimmy Buffett, Ernest Hemingway, and Zane Grey.