Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium has been voted America’s Best Aquarium through a national public poll conducted by USA Today ranking the top 20 prominent institutions across North America.

The latest nationwide recognition marks the second time that the conservation-based museum and aquarium has been nominated for and voted as the winner of the significant award.

In a statement, Bass Pro said Wonders of Wildlife is a gift to the sportsmen and women of America from noted conservationist, angler and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. Morris endeavored to create a world-class not-for-profit conservation attraction located in his hometown of Springfield, MO, next to Bass Pro Shops’ flagship headquarters store.

Larger than the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, Wonders of Wildlife features more than 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. Fans cite the aquarium’s over-the-top multisensory habitats, interactive exhibits and strong conservation ethic as defining features that set Wonders of Wildlife apart.

“We are truly humbled by this distinction and very grateful to every guest, member and fan for their votes and support,” said Morris. “Wonders of Wildlife represents the collective efforts of countless individuals and organizations who share a strong passion for conservation. Together we hope the awareness generated by this award encourages even more people to visit and get inspired to enjoy and protect the great outdoors.”

The Aquarium was nominated by a panel of travel experts as part of USA Today’s annual Reader’s Choice Awards. Members of the public across the United States and Canada were invited to cast their vote every day during the month of June to determine a winner.

Following its grand opening in September 2017, Wonders of Wildlife was also voted, “America’s Best New Attraction.”

Photos courtesy Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium