When you are planning your visit, it is important to note that we do not allow dogs (including service dogs/animals, therapy dogs/animals, and emotional support dogs/animals) or any other outside animals in the park at any time.
The majority of the animals in the park are prey species. The bison and zebras are one of the few species that will attack dogs in order to defend themselves. Many of the species at the park have an extreme “flight response” , this means with a simple loud noise an antelope or deer will flee in the opposite direction and run as hard as possible regardless of what is in the animal's path. Often times in these situations the animals with high “flight response” injure themselves on fencing or other obstacles.
Federal Law also makes it illegal for us to knowingly put our animals in danger of psychological or physical harm due to the Animal Welfare Act of 1972. Furthermore, we are included in the exclusion laws of the American Disabilities Act (ADA). The law states service animals can be excluded and explains in Question 26-“in most settings, the presence of a service animal will not result in fundamental alteration. However, there are some exceptions. For example, at a boarding school service animals could be restricted from a specific area of a dormitory reserved specifically for students with allergies to dog dander. At a zoo, service animals can be restricted from areas where the animals on display are natural prey or natural predators of dogs, where the presence of a dog would be disruptive, causing the displayed animals to behave aggressively or become agitated. They cannot be restricted from other areas of the zoo.”
Most of the time, we are not afraid your dog will injure our animals-it’s probably the other way around. The safety of our visitors and animals remains out number one priority.