Climbing to the top
Mississippi Magazine|March - April 2021
The Hattiesburg Zoo offers high views and fun times with animals.

The Hattiesburg Zoo was once a tiny spot to see and experience a few great creatures. However, in the past decade or so, this small zoo has grown and evolved to provide one of the state’s best zoo experiences for animal lovers and adventure seekers. The 12-acre zoo, located inside Kamper Park in downtown Hattiesburg, has filled its animal roster with 55 species after 71 years in the Hub City. Those numbers are expected to grow larger this year, as adding more animals—including a giraffe—is in the city’s plans.

Although the zoo closed when the COVID-19 pandemic was beginning to affect the city, parts of the zoo were able to open soon after, according to Amanda Hargrove, director of marketing at the Hattiesburg Convention Commission. Hargrove shares that the zoo has helped people get outdoors during the pandemic. “It’s been a wonderful thing because they can get out of their house and still feel safe and socially distanced,” she says. “Families get a little bit of sunshine, exercise, and fresh air and see something a little different while spending time together. So we’ve been very fortunate.”

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