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Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Zoos are places that allow the visitor to experience nature and see a varietyof animals up close. Thousands of zoos exist worldwide that feature wildlife,such as lions, rhinos, and polar bears. The animals are exhibited in habitatsthat look similar to the landscape in their country of origin. Zoologicalstudies are also conducted at zoos that are collaborated with variousuniversities, research facilities, and conservation organizations. Staff memberswork at teaching visitors about the importance of wildlife safeguards andprotecting natural habitats. Unfortunately, harmful hunting and poachingpractices have led to the extinction of several different species.





Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World


In addition,a large number of animals are listed on the endangered species list. Byinforming the public about the dangers surrounding hunting wildlife, zooofficials and conservation agencies hope to create more awareness about certainhunting practices and how they can affect the animal population.




15)   The Singapore Zoo

As the name implies, the Singapore Zoo is located inSingapore. It was opened in 1973 and sits on 69 acres. Over 2,500 animals arehoused at the zoo, which also represents more than 300 different species.

Singapore Zoo Main Gate:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

As isdone at the San Diego Zoo, the Singapore Zoo houses animals in spaces that lookvery similar to their natural habitats. Moats and glass partitions are used toseparate zoo animals from visitors.

Hamadryas Baboon Enclosure at Singapore Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World





The zoo showcases many exhibits andhighlights two fun shows as well. “Breakfast with an Orangutan” and “Elephantsat Work and Play” draw a good number of zoo guests each year. Some of theanimals you’ll find at the Singapore Zoo include ring-tailed lemurs, spidermonkeys, leopards, polar bears, tapirs, wolves, and flamingos. Zootransportation is available in the form of a pony, horse, carriage, or boat.

“Elephants at Work and Play” Show:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World




14)   The Philadelphia Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo, located, as you might suspect,in Philadelphia, has the noted distinction of being the United States’ firstzoo. Established in 1874, the menagerie sits on a modest 42 acres. The zoohighlights over 1,300 animals and is known for successfully breeding animalsthat in captivity.

Historic Philadelphia Zoo Gate:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

The Philadelphia Zoo works with various worldwide groups for the protectionof animals as well as the safeguarding of their habits. Because of the zoo’sability to breed hard-to-breed species, many of the zoo’s animals are rare orendangered.

Three Elephants at the Philadelphia Zoo – Spring 2007:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

A children’s zoo is located at the zoo as is a lake forpaddle boating, and a balloon ride, and carousel. The zoo also displays manyeducational exhibits, all which teach visitors about animals, their habitats,and what steps can be taken to keep the animals safe.

McNeil Avian Center at the Philadelphia Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World





Several specializedexhibits are located in the Rare Animals Conservation Center, which housesunusual animals like naked mole rats, blue-eyed lemurs, and tree kangaroos. BigCat Falls, at the zoo, features a number of species of big and wild cats,including African lions, Amur tigers, and black jaguars.

Channel 6 “Zooballoon” Flies With Passengers Above thePhiladelphia Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

13)   The Welsh Mountain Zoo

Sometimes called the Colwyn Bay Zoo, the WelshMountain Zoo is located in Colwyn County in Wales. The zoo was opened in 1963 andcovers a total of 37 acres. Home to a variety of interesting exhibits, the zoohas been working at adding animal enclosures for the past several years.

Deer Enclosure at the Welsh Mountain Zoo or Colwyn Bay Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

A newtropical house for reptiles has been built as well as new alligator enclosures.Lovely tree-lined paths make park visitors feel closer to nature.

Przewalski Wild Horse:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

One of thepopular exhibits includes the Sea Lion Rock, home to California sea lions. Thezoo also features snow leopards and is the home of the first Bactrian camel tobe born in captivity. The Condor Haven at the zoo features Andean condors and avariety of avian species from South America. The Eurasian otter showcase is apopular exhibit too.

Sea Lions at the Welsh Mountain Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

12)   The Nogeyama Zoological Gardens

The Nogeyama Zoological Gardens issometimes called the Yokohama Zoo because it is located in Yokohama, Japan. Itis also referred to as “Zoorasia.” Opened in 1951, the zoo spans over 24 acresand is home to about 1,400 animals and 100 different species. The lovely zoo isfree to the public.

Nogeyama Zoological Gardens or “Zoorasia”:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World
Some of the animals living in the zoo include Mandarinducks, hamadryas baboons, lions, tigers, ruffed lemurs, wallabies, condors,bears, eagles, and red pandas. In fact, when you first enter the zoo, the redpanda might be the first animal you see.

Red Panda at “Zoorasia”:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

This unique marsupial isextremely popular at the zoo and the Red Panda Enclosure alone draws a large number of visitors each year.Another facility within the zoo is the Makigahara Children’s Zoo. The smallanimal menagerie, which opened in 1970, houses such animals, as mice, chickens,pigeons, and guinea pigs.

Clouded Leopard at the Nogeyama Zoological Gardens:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

The Nogeyama Zoological Gardens is proud to be thefirst zoo located in Japan to successfully house such animals as the sloth bear,the ring-tailed lemur, the clouded leopard, a giant anteater, and theKleinmann’s tortoise. In 1972, the zoo was the second zoo in the world tosuccessfully breed Andean condors in captivity.

11)   The Australia Zoo

Founded by the late, great, Steve Irwin (lovinglyreferred to as the “Crocodile Hunter”) and his wife, Teri, the Australian Zoo isone zoo you will love the moment you moment enter it.

The Late Steve Irwin Performing Live at the Australia Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

The zoo encouragesvisitors to participate in animal interaction, giving children and adults thechance to interact with or feed such animals as elephants, koalas, wombats,kangaroos, and snakes.

Sign Near Front Entrance of the Australia Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

In some instances, visitors can even interact withtigers. Some tourists have also fed elephants out of their hand. Other animalsfeatured at the popular zoo include zebras, birds, crocodiles, and cheetahs.Over 1,000 animals are showcased at the Australia Zoo, which which sits on amassive 100 acres in Queensland. The zoo, which was originally opened by SteveIrwin’s parents, Bob and Lyn Irwin, was once called the Beerwah Reptile Park.Bob Irwin is a noted herpetologist.

Black Parrott at the Australia Zoo – Beerwah Queensland,Australia:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Located next door to the Australian Animal Hospital, the zoo won the Australian Tourism Award in both 2003 and 2004.

 The Aviary at the Australian Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

10)   The Wellington Zoo

The Wellington Zoo is located in Wellington, NewZealand. It was the first zoo to be built in New Zealand and stretches out overa total of 32 acres. The zoo is home to more than 500 animals, some of which areconsidered rare or endangered. The zoo serves as a safe haven for such animalsas the miniature sun bear and the Sumatran tiger.

Historic Elephant House at the Wellington Zoo – Wellington,New Zealand:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Calling attention to theimportance of conservation, the zoo is designed with enclosures that aresupported by solar heat, and advocates the breeding of endangered animals.

Two Otters in the Wellington Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Zoovisitors can interact with one of various animals, such as the zoo’s one-leggedkiwi, and can see such interesting animals as giraffes, red pandas and cheetahs up close.

Chimpanzee Stretching and Chimp Enclosure at WellingtonZoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

The Wild Theatre at the zoo hosts animal presentations and can berented out for events and parties. Sick and injured animals are taken to theNest, located on the zoo property.

Giraffes During Feeding Time at the Wellington Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

9)   The Edinburgh Zoo

As the name suggests, the Edinburgh Zoo is located inthe city of Edinburgh in Scotland. The 82-acre zoo, which is home to over 1,000animals and over 150 species, was built in 1913. The Scottish menagerie receivesnearly 600,000 visitors annually.

Entrance to the Edinburgh Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

The zoo is the most visited tourist attractionin Scotland, just after Edinburgh Castle, and is involved in the breeding ofrare and endangered animals. The zoo also regularly participates in manyconservation activities.

Polar Bear Named Mercedes at the Edinburgh Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World
Distinguishing itself as the first zoo in the world toboth house and breed penguins, the zoo is also home to a resident penguin by thename of Sir Nilis Olav. Sir Nilis Olav was knighted by Norwegian King Harald V.The facility is also the first British zoo to serve as a home to a koala bearand giant panda. The Living Links exhibit at the zoo features both monkeys andsquirrels, and the zoo’s resident bear, Wojtek, once served in the military.

Penguin Parade from 1985:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Ashow is also featured daily at the site as well, called “Animal Antics.” Zoovisitors are entertained by zoo animals showing off their natural skills.

Budango Trail at Edinburgh Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

8)   The Basel Zoo

The Basel Zoo is located in Basel, Switzerland. Lovinglycalled “Zolli” by those who call Basel home, the menagerie is known asSwitzerland’s oldest zoo. Covering approximately 32 acres, the attraction isalso Switzerland’s largest zoo. The zoo receives 1.8 million visitors annuallyand was ranked as one of the best zoos in the world by Forbes Travel in 2008.

Lion in Big Cat Enclosure at the Basel Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Home to many firsts, the zoo is noted as the first zoo to hatch greaterflamingos as well as the first zoo to feature a birth of an Indian rhino incaptivity.

Indian Rhinos at the Basel Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

In fact, the zoo has had a number of successes with the breeding ofanimals, some of which have included cheetahs, okapi, and Somali donkeys. Notonly that, all the Somali donkeys located in other zoos in the world are relatedto the donkeys bred in Basel – the home of the first Somali breeding program.

Breeding Flamingos at the Basel Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

The zoo also features an aquarium which exhibits red-bellied short-neckedturtles and an African exhibit, which is home to hippos, rhinos and ostriches.Snow leopards can also be found at Sauter Garden at the zoo.

7)   The Schцnbrunn Zoo

Located in Schцnbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria, theSchцnbrunn Zoo was founded in 1752 and is the oldest zoo in the world. Many ofits buildings are fully preserved and display a Baroque design. The structures,which are flanked by modern-styled designs, are truly a sight to behold.

Kaiserliches Pavilion at Schцnbrunn Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Giantpandas are featured at the zoo along with an Amazon Rainforest exhibit and anaquarium. Visitors can walk beneath a simulation of a flooding Amazon. Don’tmiss the Arctic exhibit either, which features a variety of animals from thepolar icecap.

Seal Fountain and Administrative Building at Tiergarten Schцnbrunn:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

The Schönbrunn Zoo also has the noteworthy distinction of beingthe birthing place of the first elephant born in captivity.If you ever want tosee the zoo at night, you can book a night excursion and see how some of thenocturnal animals behave when fully awake.

Tiergarten Schцnbrunn in Vienna:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

6)   The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa

The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa are located in Pretoria. Sitting on 210 acres, the zoois home to approximately 9,000 animals, or over 700 different species.

Overview of a Portion of the National Zoological Gardens ofSouth Africa:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Depictedby a varied terrain, the zoo is also the setting for the Apies Rivers, whichflows over a sloping and flat landscape. Established in 1899, the popularattraction regularly receives over a half a million visitors each year.Theentrance to the zoological gardens is surrounded by an aviary. Other animalsyou’ll see along the way include chimpanzees, lemurs, cheetahs, giraffes,elephants, and red pandas. Lions, tigers, tamarins, kangaroos, and owls call thezoo home as well.

Lion Enclosure at National Zoological Gardens of SouthAfrica:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Because the zoological park is so big, visitors can rent golfcarts to travel throughout the facility and sightsee. Two restaurants are alsolocated on the grounds, where you can grab a bite to eat when you’re taking abreak from all the activity.

Cableway over the National Zoological Gardens of SouthAfrica, Pretoria:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

5)   The Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo was opened in 1899 and is located in Bronx,New York. An extremely popular site, the Bronx Zoo sits on an 265 acres andfeatures 4,000 animals, all which represent 650 different species. Some of themajor exhibits and attractions include the Bug Carousel, the Congo GorillaForest, Tiger Mountain, the Wild Asia Monorail, and the Madagascar exhibit.

Gorilla at the Bronx Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Inaddition to the noted attractions, the zoo is also home to a sea lion pool, anAfrican plains exhibit, a baboon reserve, and a children’s zoo. The HimalayanHighlands exhibit also holds great appeal. A zoo shuttle is provided to zoovisitors for their convenience in seeing the numerous exhibits and sights.

One of the Entrances to the Bronx Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Indoor exhibits and major interest points include the zoo’s butterfly garden, astate-of-the-art, one-of-a-kind 4-D theater, a Jungle World exhibit, the zoo’sMouse House, and a World of Reptiles exhibit. Families can spend hours at theattractions. Zoo staff place an emphasis as well on supporting endangeredanimals and related conservation activities.

Skyfari at the Bronx Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

4)   The Toronto Zoo

As the name suggests, the Toronto Zoo is located in thecity of Toronto in Canada. Opening in 1974, the zoo sits on 710 acres of land.The zoo is currently home to 5,000 animals and 500 different species.

Entrance to the Toronto Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Dividedinto “geographic” sections, the zoo features animals in the Canadian domain,Eurasia, Australasia, Africa, the U.S, the Tundra Trek, and the Indomalaya ecozone. The Indomalaya area of the zoo features such animals as the Indianrhinoceros, the orangutan, the whistling duck, and butterflies.

Toronto Zoo’s Splash Island Educational Water Park:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

You can seesuch animals as moose, bison, cougars, and grizzly bears in the Canadian sectionof the facility. The Tundra Trek highlights Arctic exhibits of animals,including reindeer, snowy owls, arctic foxes, and polar bears.

Rainforest Gorilla Habitat at the Toronto Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Featured animalsare located both inside and outside, and can be viewed at different levels inthe facility. Kid-friendly attractions, which draw the younger set, include akids zoo, the Waterside Theatre, and Splash Island. In addition, the zoo hasappeared in films and on TV. The facility was seen on TV in 2011 in an episodeof “Undercover Boss,” and also appeared in the Canadian documentary, “ZooDiaries.”

3)   The Berlin Zoological Garden

Established in 1844, the Berlin ZoologicalGarden is the oldest zoo in Germany. It is also the most popular. Stretching outacross 84 acres, the zoo is home to over 19,400 animals from over 1,400different species. The zoo also features an aquarium, with both the zoo andaquarium playing host to nearly three million visitors annually. One of the mostpopular zoos in both Europe and the world, The Berlin Zoo regularly conductsresearch, working with other zoos and universities in this capacity globally.

Elephant Gate Entrance to Berlin Zoological Garden:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

View of the Berlin Zoo from the Scaffolds of the KaiserWilhelm Memory Church:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Animals seen at the zoo include king vultures, brown fur seals, burrowing owls,giraffes, lions, penguins, tayras, and arctic wolves.

Berlin Zoo’s Renowned Aquarium Main Building:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

2)   The Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire

First opening its doors in 1931, the Whipsnade Zoo is located in Bedfordshire, England. The zoo, which sits on 600acres, is home to over 2,700 animals from about 200 different species.

Whipsnade Zoo Front Entrance:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Becauseof the park’s size, visitors can choose to drive, walk, or use the bus serviceat the zoo. The zoo features enclosed animal areas as well as landscapes wherezoo animals can run free. Both Australian wallabies and peacocks have free reignof some of the open areas in the park.

Whipsnade Zoo Hill Figure:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Exhibits featured at the zoo include thePassage through Asia, which is home to Bactrian camels, hog deer, and yaks, andthe Elephant Herd exhibit, which, as you might guess, houses elephants.

Elephants at Whipsnade Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Birdscan be seen at the Birds of the World Exhibit, including the eagle owl, Harrishawk, macaw and toucan. Children like interacting with the animals at theChildren’s Farm, some of whom include the turkey, alpaca, llama, goat, andchicken.

1)   The San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is located in San Diego, California.It was opened back in 1916 and features 3,700 animals from over 650 differentspecies. The zoo, which sits on 100 acres of land, is a popular well-knownattraction, having the largest membership of any zoo in the world. Over a halfmillion people currently hold zoo subscriptions.

Main Entrance to the San Diego Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

The zoo at San Diego can becredited with being the creator of the exhibit concept, an idea that featuresnatural animal enclosures versus iron or steel cages. Therefore, in the SanDiego Zoo, animals are displayed behind see-through enclosures and surrounded byplant life and vegetation, all which replicates the animals’ natural habitats.

Double Decker Bus for Guests at San Diego Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

Exhibits and attractions include the Monkey Trails and Forest Tales exhibit, theOwens Aviary exhibit, Panda Trek, the Scipps Aviary exhibit, the Polar BearPlunge, Elephant Odyssey, the Sun Bear Forest, Tiger River, and Gorilla Tropics.

Klipsringer Enclosure at the San Diego Zoo:

Top 15 Best Zoos Around the World

The zoo at San Diego has also been featured on TV a number of times, seen incartoon animations, and the presented on the covers of music albums. The zoo hasfrequently been referenced in stories and books as well.

Conclusion

Visiting a zoo is a great learning experience for both childrenand adults. Zoos make us all more aware why it is important to concentrate ourefforts on wildlife conservation.If you would like to help in this regard, thengo online and research the various conservation organizations that are involvedin saving endangered animals.Find out what you can do to contribute to anorganization’s activities. Or, donate your time to a local area zoo. In theinterim, you’ll want to add a visit to one or more of the aforementioned zoos toyour bucket list or travel itinerary.

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