Reptile Gardens ranked among top zoos in U.S.

Local News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Reptile Gardens of Rapid City has been ranked at #10 in USA Today’s recent ranking of the top zoos in America.  

USA Today cited the fact that Reptile Gardens is the “largest collection of reptiles in the world” according to the Guiness Book of World Records

“Visitors can see everything from deadly snakes to tropical birds and giant tortoises and fierce alligators,” according to the announcement from USA Today. “In addition to the zoo, there is a botanical garden and a three-level Sky Dome featuring an indoor jungle to explore.” 

“This is one of the highest honors our park has ever received,” said Reptile Gardens CEO Joe Maierhauser.

“To be ranked in the top 10 of more than 200 zoos is an incredible achievement for us.” 

Reptile Gardens CEO Joe Maierhauser

“It’s a great privilege to be included in the same list as such world-renowned institutions as the San Diego Zoo, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, and the Denver Zoo,” Reptile Gardens Curator of Animals, Terry Phillip said.  

John Brockelsby, the Reptile Gardens PR Director said the honor was “a testimony to the vision of our founder Earl Brockelsby as well as 82 years of hard work by our management and staff.” He said an award like this “just further inspires us to be the best family destination and animal park that we can possibly be.” 

USA Today looked at 272 major zoos and released the list on August 13. The top twenty zoos were placed in rank order. Rankings are based on an average rating and number of reviews on Yelp, a widely known business directory review service.  

Reptile Gardens was founded in 1937 and has been continuously operated by the same family for 82 years.  

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