The Henson Robinson Zoo began as just a dream of a prominent Springfield citizen by the name of Henson C. Robinson. In 1967, a tract of land was donated to the Springfield Park District by the city of Springfield to fulfill his dream. Construction of the zoo began in 1968 and on August 29, 1970, the Henson Robinson Zoo was officially opened. Over the years, the zoo has grown and expanded with the addition of several new animals as well as exhibits.
The zoo is now home to animals native to Australia, Africa, Asia and North and South America. Over 90 species of native and exotic animals are housed here among naturalistic exhibits. The zoo participates in scientific research studies and conservation efforts in addition to providing a fun and educational environment for people of all ages.
Henson Robinson Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA is America's leading accrediting organization for zoos and aquariums and accredits only those institutions that have achieved rigorous, professional standards for animal care, education, wildlife conservation and science. As a member of AZA, Henson Robinson Zoo joins more than 200 other accredited zoos and aquariums in building North America's largest wildlife conservation movement.
The zoo's mission is to enhance the education of our community to wildlife and its conservation while providing an enjoyable and recreational experience.