Zoos are fun places for kids and adults alike. Most people know that zoos are great places to see animals in a natural setting, but there’s much more to these institutions than meets the eye. Zoos help maintain the genetic diversity of species, provide education on endangered animals, and even inspire visitors with their collections of endangered wildlife.
Zoos in the United States keep animals captive for a variety of reasons, from conservation to education and research. Zoos also serve as places of refuge for many endangered animals. The majority of zoos in the country are nonprofit organizations dedicated to wildlife conservation, education, and recreation. They also provide visitors with an opportunity to observe and learn about a wide variety of species. Here is a list of the top zoos in the United States.
The Bronx Zoo is world-famous. In 1898, the City of New York gave the New York Zoological Society 250 acres of Bronx Park to create a zoological park. The Bronx Zoo began in 1899 and houses 4,000 animals from 650 species.
Several architectural features of the zoo are city landmarks, particularly the stretch from Rainey Gate on Fordham Road to Astor Court at Zoo Center (landmarked in 2000). Heins & Lafarge, who designed Astor Court, also designed St. John the Divine Cathedral in Morningside Heights and many IRT station embellishments. Built by Italian sculptor Biagio Catella in 1872, the Rockefeller Fountain was donated to the Zoological Society in 1903 and transferred in 1910. (in 2008 the fountain was restored). The Rocking Stone overlooking the Buffalo Range is another historic landmark. The seven-foot-tall, 30-ton pinkish granite cube is perfectly balanced and cannot be moved.
The Denver Zoo is one of the smaller zoos in the country, with a collection of about 4,000 animals, including about 1,400 species. The zoo has a large collection of South and Central American species, including clouded leopards, spectacled bears, and squirrel monkeys. The zoo also houses an endangered species collection and a conservation science center, the Wild Animal Research Center. The zoo’s conservation efforts are aimed at saving endangered species. The zoo has been successful in its work and has contributed to the survival of many species, including the spectacled bears, the blue-throated macaw, and the golden lion tamarin. The zoo has a large collection of reptiles and amphibians and participates in educational efforts to raise awareness about the importance of conservation.
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It first opened its doors in the Avondale area of Cincinnati in the year 1875. It originally encompassed 65,4 acres in the middle of the city, but that number has subsequently been increased to 75 acres. It provides a home for 1,896 animals from 500 different species. The zoo has a productive breeding program and was the first to produce California sea lions. However, in addition to producing sea lions, the zoo also breeds a number of other endangered creatures, including western lowland gorillas, Malayan tigers, Masai giraffes, and pottos. Martha, the last live passenger pigeon, passed away at the Cincinnati Zoo, where she had spent her final days. Fiona, the baby hippo who was born at Cincinnati Zoo in January 2017, is the most recent addition to the animal kingdom. She is the first hippo to be born there in over seventy-five years.
The Dallas Zoo is home to more than 5,000 animals, including more than 500 species in 40 habitats. The zoo is one of the largest in the Southwest and is home to a large number of North American species, including grizzly bears, ocelots, and Rocky Mountain bighorns. The zoo is home to a large number of Asian and African species, including orangutans and gorillas. The zoo participates in conservation efforts through its Species Survival Plan program, which seeks to improve the genetic diversity of endangered species. The zoo’s conservation program is directed at protecting endangered species from threats such as habitat destruction and poaching.
The Brookfield Zoo was established through a partnership between the City of Chicago and the Brookfield Zoo, in Great Britain. The zoo has a collection of more than 5,000 animals, including more than 400 species, and is one of the largest in the Midwest. The zoo is home to a large number of North American and Asian species, including a rhino habitat, a diorama of a river and rainforest, and a large African savanna. The zoo participates in conservation efforts through its Wild Connections Initiative, which seeks to improve the genetic diversity of threatened species.
The Houston Zoo is one of the largest in the country, with over 5,000 animals of more than 700 species in 23 habitats. The zoo participates in conservation efforts through its Wild Connections Initiative, which seeks to improve the genetic diversity of threatened species. The zoo is home to a large number of Asian and African species, including an Amazon river exhibit. The zoo is also home to many North American species, including great bears, wolves, and cougars. The zoo has a large collection of South American species, including capybaras and howler monkeys.
Kansas City Zoo
The Kansas City Zoo is one of the largest in the Midwest and is home to more than 5,000 animals, including more than 1,000 species in 50 habitats. The zoo is home to a large number of Asian and African species, including a caribous habitat. The zoo participates in conservation efforts through its Wild Connections Initiative, which seeks to improve the genetic diversity of threatened species. The zoo is also home to a large collection of South American species, including capybaras and howler monkeys. The zoo participates in conservation efforts through its Species Survival Plan, a voluntary program that seeks to improve the genetic diversity of threatened species.
Lincoln Park Zoo
Lincoln Park Zoo, which opened its doors in 1868, is one of the country’s oldest zoos. The Lincoln Park Zoo, a 35-acre facility in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, is one of the country’s few free zoos. There are more than 1,100 animals in the zoo that come from about 200 different species. Polar bears, large cats, gorillas, penguins, reptiles, and monkeys are just a few of the realistic animals on display at the zoo. There is a burr oak tree in the middle of the zoo that is older than the city of Chicago. Nature Boardwalk, Kovler Sea Lion Pool, Farm-in-the-Zoo, the Helen Brach Primate House, the Kovler Lion House, the Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo, the McCormick Bird House, and the Regenstein Center for African Apes, the African Journey, and the Regenstein Small Mammal–Reptile House are all popular attractions. A Grévy’s zebra, three newborn snow monkeys, and a baby Bactrian camel have recently been born in the zoo.
The Memphis Zoo is one of the largest in the South, with more than 5,000 animals, including more than 1,000 species in 29 habitats. The zoo is home to a large number of North American species, including grizzly bears, river otters, and sea lions. The zoo participates in conservation efforts through its Species Survival Plan, a voluntary program that seeks to improve the genetic diversity of threatened species. The zoo is also home to a wide variety of Asian and African species, including gibbons, gorillas, and orangutans.
The Pittsburgh Zoo is among one of the top tourist attractions in the region. The zoo is home to many animals representing over 2,000 species. The zoo has been a nonprofit organization since it was founded in 1934. The zoo is widely recognized for its commitment to conservation and the role it plays in educating visitors. The zoo is home to many endangered species including the black-footed ferret and the golden-headed mole-rat. Visitors can explore the zoo in their natural settings, allowing for a more authentic experience than what may be possible in a modern zoo. The zoo’s various habitats also include many interesting features such as the African Savanna, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Asian Tropical Rainforest.
The Minnesota Zoo is a nonprofit zoo located in Apple Valley, Minnesota. It is one of the best small zoos in the country. Focusing on conservation, education, and research, the Minnesota Zoo connects people to wildlife and the natural world in a fun and unique setting. They are known for their conservation efforts, education programs, and innovative approaches to animal care. The Minnesota Zoo is home to more than 3,000 animals representing over 400 species. In addition, the zoo offers a wide variety of interactive and educational experiences to create a memorable zoo experience for visitors.
The Oakland Zoo is located in Knowland Park, which is 525 acres in size, in the Oakland Hills, and is home to more than 850 native and exotic animals. The displays are laid out geographically and are designed to depict the ecosystems that are found in the animals’ natural environments. The education center features revolving cultural displays that can be enjoyed by visitors. The newly constructed butterfly garden and the amusement section, which features a roller coaster, an endangered species carousel, and a train, will be especially appealing to children. A gondola ride that offers unrivaled views of the Bay Area will take you to the top of the hill where you may see local species such as grizzly bears, grey wolves, bison, and many more!
Oklahoma City Zoo
The Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden is full of surprises. The Zoo is one of Oklahoma’s most popular tourist attractions, spanning 120 acres and showcasing animals from all over the world. The Sanctuary Asia, Cat Forest, Great EscApe, and other ecosystems offer close-up views of wildlife.
The zoo’s animal experts hold free daily Caretaker Chats where you can learn more about your favorite species and how they are cared for. The entry plaza has strollers, wagons, wheelchairs, and scooters for rent. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Association of Museums have fully accredited the Oklahoma City Zoo & Botanical Garden.
Are you still looking for more excitement? The Zoo-It-All pass includes unlimited rides on the choo choo train, carousel, and tram. It also includes entrance to Stingray Bay and the Sea Lion Presentation as part of the Zoo-It-All. Changes in attraction availability are possible.
Wild Encounters is a unique opportunity to get up up and personal with some of the zoo’s most famous animals.
The oldest zoo west of the Mississippi is located in Washington Park, just minutes from downtown Portland via MAX light rail. The Oregon Zoo is home to 2,697 animals from over 215 different species. More than 40% of the zoo has been rebuilt in the previous few years. There is extra space for rhinos, primate real estate, and a new elephant habitat.
The zoo has special events for every season, from Rabbit Romp’s spring egg hunts to Howloween’s trick-or-treating, but none flash as brilliantly as ZooLights, the annual holiday light display that runs from Thanksgiving weekend through New Year’s Eve. This famous event transforms the zoo into a winter wonderland, with over a million LED lights adorning trees and moving sculptures.
From June to September, the Oregon Zoo Summer Concert Series features prominent national artists such as the B-52s, Indigo Girls, and Portland’s own Pink Martini on its outdoor stage. Tickets to the concert include all-day zoo admission, so you can view the animals before staking down a seat on the shady lawn and diving into locally produced food, beer, and wine sold on-site. Every concert begins with a Wild Life Live performance that includes fly-overs from some of the zoo’s feathered residents.
The San Francisco Zoo is one of the best zoos in America, but it is also one of the most expensive. The San Francisco Zoo is located in the Golden Gate Park, which is a huge park that runs along San Francisco Bay. There are many different kinds of animals at the San Francisco Zoo, including elephants, giraffes, and polar bears. The San Francisco Zoo was established in 1936, and it has since grown to be one of the largest zoos in the country.
The San Francisco Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals from around the world. There are also many different types of exhibits, including a rainforest, African savanna, and Asian forest. The zoo also has a large children’s area where children can play with toys and do arts and crafts. For those who want to see more animals up close, there are several parrot cages where visitors can feed and play with some of the zoo’s most popular birds.
When you visit the Phoenix Zoo, you will step into a magical world filled with creativity, discovery, and curiosity. The Zoo is unlike any other location in the Valley because it is home to over 3,000 creatures. These animals come from all over the world and include Sumatran tigers, Bornean orangutans, Asian elephants, Komodo dragons, Andean bears, and American alligators, among many others.
The Papago Park Zoo is situated on 125 acres of natural ecosystems and is located within the stunning Papago Park. It features miles of pathways that wind through desert landscapes and lush gardens. The presence of numerous playgrounds, splash pads, and thrilling attractions like as Stingray Bay, Safari Cruiser, Rydables, and the Endangered Species Carousel help to make this an experience that is not only memorable but also informative and motivational for the entire family.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is the fifth largest zoo in the U.S. and is located in Columbus, Ohio. The zoo was founded in 1898 and houses more than 2,000 animals from over 200 species, including a pair of giant pandas. The zoo also has an onsite aquarium that features sharks, stingrays, and other aquatic species. The zoo offers summer camp programs for kids ages 5-17 and is free to the public.
In addition to the animals, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also has a variety of educational exhibits, including the African Savanna where you can learn about wildlife conservation in Africa. The zoo is open year-round so no matter what time of year you visit there will always be something to do. It’s a great day trip for visitors of all ages!
San Antonio Zoo
The San Antonio Zoo is the oldest zoo in Texas, and one of the few zoos in the state that is open year-round. The zoo first opened its doors in 1929 and has since become a beloved place for families to visit. San Antonio Zoo is home to over 3,000 animals, including elephants, lions, monkeys, and many more. The zoo is located just minutes from downtown San Antonio and is easily accessible by car, bus, or bike.
There are several ways to get to the San Antonio Zoo from downtown San Antonio. Parking can be found in the parking garage next to the Mary Moore Building on Main Plaza. Once you arrive at the zoo, you can take a shuttle bus or park for free in any of the lots surrounding the zoo. You can also walk or bike to the zoo as it is located in close proximity to several hiking trails.
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals representing over 500 species. In addition to zoo animals, the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research conducts scientific research to help protect endangered species and improve conservation efforts worldwide. The San Diego Zoo is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and participates in numerous AZA conservation programs, including Species Survival Plans (SSP). These are long-term breeding programs that help preserve genetic diversity within wildlife populations. The San Diego Zoo also participates in the AZA’s Species Survival Plan for Asian small-clawed otter, which aims to ensure that viable populations remain throughout their range in the wild.
In 2016, the zoo welcomed two new otters! This was the first breeding success for this species in nearly 50 years.
The San Diego Zoo’s education programs reach over 350,000 visitors each year through school groups, educators and volunteers to share stories of animals and conservation efforts.
Now that you know what some of the best zoos in the United States are, it’s time to see if you can visit any of them. Most of these zoos are located in major cities, so it’s easy to find a close one to visit. Many of the zoos mentioned above also offer a variety of other activities, so you can spend your day visiting the zoo and still enjoy the city. If you want to see the animals up close, you’ll want to visit a zoo that has a wide variety of animals. And if you want to see the most animals possible while visiting a single zoo, you’ll want to go to a zoo that has a large collection of endangered animals.