That great American amusement of going to the zoo is more delightful today than ever before, with world-class parks allowing improved habitats and intimate glimpses at exotic animals from all over the globe. Whether you’re touring New York, Miami or even San Diego, set out some time to check out Indian rhinos, clouded leopards and more astonishing animals at the best zoos in the U.S.
Almost each large American metropolitan center has a zoo. Some are large like Bronx Zoo, and others are little like Cincinnati Zoo; a few are private like the Phoenix Zoo while others are public zoos; some are free like Lincoln Park Zoo, and others charge admission. All of them carry witness to America’s love of animals, both domestic and wild.
Positioned in Bronx Park in New York City, with the Bronx River running through it, Bronx Zoo is the biggest city zoo in the entire world. Densely forested with the river, savannas, and parks in extension to the sounds of wild animals, it is obvious to forget that you are in the heart of New York City. The zoo covers 265 acres of land in which more 4,000 animals from more than 600 varieties live in spacious and naturalistic environments. The zoo unlocked its doors in 1899 with 843 animals spread over 22 exhibits and is today managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Some of the most famous exhibits today are the Congo Gorilla Forest, Madagascar!, African Plains, Wild Asia Monorail, JungleWorld, and Tiger Mountain. Children will love the daily sea lion and penguin feedings.
Address; 2300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10460, Phone: 718-220-5100
2. Denver Zoo
Denver Zoo was founded in 1896 with the donation of one American black bear. This 80-acre zoo is found in Denver’s City Park and today provides a home to over 4,125 animals from 613 species. It was the very first American zoo to have naturalistic environments for animals instead of cages and bars. The first zoo bear triggered the development of Bear Mountain, which was followed by Primate Panorama, consisting of large open tents made of the mesh where animals can move freely. The zoo holds over 600 research and conservation schemes in around 60 countries in the world. One of the most popular projects is Close Animal Encounters – guests get to go backstage and meet animals such as birds, snakes, elephants, gorillas, and many others and learn stories about their lives from their keepers.
Address; 2300 Steele St, Denver, CO 80205, Phone: 720-337-1400
3. Best Zoos in America: Cincinnati Zoo
Started in 1875 in Cincinnati’s Avondale neighborhood, the Botanical Garden and the Cincinnati Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the States. It began with just 65.4 acres in the heart of the city and has so far been extended to 75 acres. It offers a home to over 1,896 animals from 500 species. The zoo has a flourishing breeding program and was the first to breed California sea lions, but it further breeds a number of other endangered wild animals such as Malayan tigers, Maasai giraffes, South African cheetahs, Sumatran rhinoceros, western lowland gorillas, and pottos. The last living passenger pigeon, called Martha, spent her last days in Cincinnati Zoo. The latest zoo appeal is a baby hippo called Fiona, born in January 2017, the first hippo that was born at Cincinnati Zoo in 75 years. So What is the best zoo in the U.S. today? Keep reading to see the full list here.
Address;3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH 45220, Phone: 513-281-4700
4. Pittsburgh Zoo
Pittsburgh Zoo covers a 77-acre land zoo and aquarium and is located in Pittsburgh’s Highland Park. It is one of very rare zoo/aquarium combinations in the US. The zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals from 475 species, whereby 20 of the animals are listed as endangered. The Pittsburgh Zoo is divided into seven thematic sections. Kid’s Kingdom contains a number of participative and interactive exhibits, such as the meerkat exhibit – kids crawl through the extensive tunnels to get a feel of what it is like to be a meerkat or any additional burrowing animal. The Asian Forest comprises animal species from Eastern and Southeast Asia, such as Komodo dragons, Amur leopards, snow leopards, Amur tigers, and red pandas. PPG Aquarium is a substantial two-story 45,000-square-foot aquarium with different aquatic habitats. The Tropical Forest here is an indoor rainforest mostly receiving primates, with 16 species of gibbons, monkeys, lemurs, gorillas, and orangutans.
1 Wild Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15206-1176, Phone: 412-665-3640
Dallas Zoo is a whole 106-acre zoo established about 3 miles from downtown Dallas in Marsalis Park. The zoo was founded in 1888 with two deer and two mountain lions and is the biggest and oldest zoo in Texas. It provides a home to over 2,000 animals from 406 species. The main exhibits are the Gorilla Research Center, Giants of the Savanna, Chimpanzee Forest, Koala Walkabout, Penguin Cove, and the Endangered Tiger Habitat, a 2-acre habitat that has been designed to look like a re-growing logged the forest. Guests can observe Malayan tigers and Sumatran tigers within a glass viewing area, and there are different pathways through the sunny and shaded areas with shallow pools, deep channels, running streams, rocks, and climbing trees.
Address;650 S R.L. Thornton Fwy, Dallas, TX 75203, Phone: 469-554-7500
6. Best Zoos in the United States.: Brookfield Zoo
Brookfield Zoo, which is Chicago’s largest zoo, unlocked its doors in 1934 and today gives a home to over 2,300 animals from 450 species that enjoy naturalistic environments spread over 216 acres. The zoo is renowned for using ditches and moats rather than cages to protect both visitors and animals. It is the first US zoo to have enormous giant pandas and the first to endeavor into an indoor dolphin exhibit. In 1980, Brookfield Zoo opened the primary indoor rainforest habitat as well as the world’s biggest indoor exhibit. The most notable exhibitions are Feathers, Australia House, and Clouded Leopard Rainforest, Scales, Big Cats, Fragile Desert, among countless others. The zoo offers numerous activities, such as zoo camps and backstage adventures.
Address;8400 W 31st St, Brookfield, IL 60513, Phone: 708-688-8000
7. Henry Doorly Zoo
The Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is a vast zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, declared by TripAdvisor as the “world’s best zoo.” The zoo is famous for its work in animal research and conservation. Founded in 1894, today the zoo provides a home to more than 17,000 animals from 962 different species. The Omaha zoo has the biggest cat complex in North America. Kingdom of the Night is the biggest indoor swamp and nocturnal display in the world, while the Lied Jungle is one of the biggest world’s indoor rainforests. Desert Dome, placed under a giant glazed geodesic dome, is one of the largest indoor deserts in the world as a whole. The zoo’s latest resident is a baby giraffe, born in May 2017.
Address;3701 S 10th St, Omaha, NE 68108, Phone: 402-733-8401
8. Top zoos in the US: Houston Zoo
The Houston town Zoo is a 55-acre zoo found in Hermann Park in Houston and is home to more than 6,000 animals depicting more than 900 different species. The zoo is famous for supporting several conservation projects that work towards the continuance of endangered wildlife and endangered habitats, in Texas and even all over the world. Some of the most endangered species the zoo works with a Bornean orangutan, clouded leopard, the Texas sea turtle, gorilla, Attwater’s prairie chicken, African lion, Galapagos tortoise, elephant, and many others. Stroll through the astonishingly realistic African Forest and see ostriches, chimpanzees, rhinos, Maasai giraffes, and zebras, separated only by a thin glass wall. Visit the huge Kip Aquarium with more than 200 marine varieties, including rescued sea turtles. The Carnivores display is home to African lions, African painted dogs, jaguar, Malayan tigers, and the rare maned wolf.
Address; 6200 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, TX 77030, Phone: 713-533-6500
9. Kansas City Zoo
Established in 1909, Kansas City Zoo is a 202-acre zoo placed in Swope Park in Kansas City, Missouri, US. The zoo provides a home to more than 1,300 animals and is regarded as one of the best zoos in America, due in particular to its 95-acre African animal’s exhibits, Australian animals exhibits, the exhibition titled Pachyderms: Hippos, Elephants, Rhinos, as well as the chimpanzee and kangaroo exhibits. The zoo is separated into five zones: Australia, The Valley, Africa, Tiger Trail, and the KidZone. Stroll leisurely through the amazingly realistic Orangutan Canopy and hear from the keepers about the lives of orangutans and how they keep them so busy and healthy, or just visit fascinating Helzberg Penguin Plaza and watch these funny penguins above and beneath the water.
Address;6800 Zoo Dr, Kansas City, MO 64132, Phone: 816-595-1234
10. Lincoln Park Zoo
Established in 1868, Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest North American zoos. This 35-acre amazing zoo in Chicago’s Lincoln Park is one of the very few American zoos with free admission. The zoo is a home to more than 1,100 animals representing almost 200 species. The zoo’s realistic exhibits include polar bears, reptiles, monkeys, big cats, gorillas, penguins, and many other wild animals. In the center of the zoo is a burr oak tree that is even older than Chicago itself. Some of the most popular exhibits are Regenstein Center for African Apes, Regenstein African Journey, Farm-in-the-Zoo, Kovler Lion House, Helen Brach Primate House, McCormick Bird House, Nature Boardwalk, Kovler Sea Lion Pool, Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo, and Regenstein Small Mammal-Reptile House. Some of the babies that were born recently at the zoo are three baby snow monkeys, a Grévy’s zebra, and a baby Bactrian camel.
Address;2001 North Clark Street, Chicago, IL 60614-4757, Phone: 312-742-2000