Dickerson Park Zoo, Missouri State University
Unveil “Bear Country”
Half-price admission available Sept. 27 for anyone wearing Missouri State clothing

Missouri State University contact:
Brent Dunn, Vice President for University Advancement

Dickerson Park Zoo contact:
Melinda Arnold, FOZ Public Relations/Marketing Director

SPRINGFIELD, MO. – Missouri State University “Bear Country,” the new name for Dickerson Park Zoo’s black bear yard, will be unveiled at a Missouri State Family Day at Dickerson Park Zoo on Sept. 27.

During an 11:30 a.m. ceremony, university President Clifton M. Smart III and Student Government Association President Jordan McGee, among others, will be present to dedicate “Bear Country.” The ceremony marks the official launch of a five-year partnership between Dickerson Park Zoo/Friends of the Zoo and the Missouri State University Foundation, Alumni Association and Student Government Association to support bear conservation.

The bear exhibit was originally built through the generosity of James and Marietta Mellers, early benefactors of the zoo. It opened in 1989.

In celebration of “Bear Country,” Dickerson Park Zoo will offer half-priced admission all day to Missouri State University students, faculty and staff, alumni and community supporters wearing any Missouri State clothing.

Dickerson Park Zoo is in the process of identifying a field conservation project for bears among its conservation partners to which it will direct funds contributed to the zoo by the university organizations.

“Bear Country” is the gateway for Dickerson Park Zoo’s Missouri Habitats region and home to two male black bears, both of whom were wild orphans. Six-year-old “Gus” was found on a farm in Howell County. Five-year-old “Yona” came to Dickerson Park Zoo from the Tulsa Zoo. (Yona is pronounced O-nah and is the Cherokee word for bear.)


About Missouri State University
Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive metropolitan system with a statewide mission in public affairs, whose purpose is to develop educated persons. The university’s identity is distinguished by its public affairs mission, which entails a campus-wide commitment to foster expertise and responsibility in ethical leadership, cultural competence and community engagement.

About Dickerson Park Zoo
Dickerson Park Zoo, home to more than 600 animals representing 160 species, is a division of the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Conservation is a core goal of the zoo’s mission to connection children and adults with wildlife.