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The Best Zoo in the World

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Whenever you are on a trip with your kids, zoos will always come in handy in case you want to entertain and educate the young ones. Modern zoos are leaders when it comes to conservation research and educational centers, and as they receive too much attention now than ever, these zoos are now better ran and put animal welfare at the forefront. 

There are numerous zoos in the world read here about the best Zoo in the World

best zoo in the world

European Zoos

Berlin Zoo, Germany  (86 acres, 1,500 species)

Berlin Zoo, Germany , (Zoologischer Garten) is one of the largest zoos in the world (in terms of area but also the number of animals there). On an area of ​​35 hectares, there are nearly 14,000 animals from 1,500 different species. One of the biggest attractions (next to the beautiful giant pandas) of the garden is the so-called “Zoo without bars” – a separated area where there are no cages and you can meet animals that pose no danger. 

Located in the heart of the city, Berlin Zoo looks after over 20,000 people. animals, including representatives of as many as 1,500 different species. Thanks to this number, the Berlin Zoo is at the top of the world rankings. During the visit, it is worth standing face to face with selected pets, among which you can walk freely in the “no cage” zones.

Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Vienna, Austria

Tiergarten Schönbrunn, Vienna was founded as early as 1752 (the oldest operating zoo in the world) on the site of a well-known and popular recreational ground of Schönbrunn Palace. It has an area of ​​17 ha and you can see about 4,600 representatives of 480 animal species. In addition to animals, the historic 18th-century buildings located on its premises also delight here. There is a possibility of night sightseeing, as well as taking advantage of educational programs for children. It should be noted that the Vienna Zoo, together with the entire palace and gardens complex of Schönbrunn, has been included in the UNESCO list.

London Zoo (36 acres, 756 species)

Opened in 1828, the London Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the world. Initially, it functioned as a research facility and only in 1847 was it made available to a wider public. From that moment on, it is one of the most interesting points to do when exploring London with kids. Our favourite in London was strolling through the bridges and exploring free London’s museums.

Zoo Visitors can take advantage of unusual attractions, such as: taking the function of an animal guardian for one day or spending the night in the zoo.

Chester Zoo Upton-by-Chester, in Cheshire, 

Opened in 1931 by George Mottershead, Chester Zoo is located at Upton-by-Chester in Cheshire and is among the largest zoos in the United Kingdom, covering around 51 hectares. Exhibits at the zoo include Islands at Chester Zoo, Elephants of the Asian Forest, Spirit of the Jaguar, Realm of the Red Ape, the Chimpanzee Breeding Center, Tsavo Black Rhino Reserve, Secret World of the Okapi, and Dragons in Danger, just to name a few. With more than 2 million annual visitors, Chester Zoo is the most-visited wildlife attraction in the United Kingdom and was voted by Forbes among the 15 best zoos in the world.

Edinburgh Zoo, UK

Edinburgh Zoo, UK   opened in July 1913. It covers an area of ​​82 acres and is home to over 1,000 rare and endangered animals. The zoological park’s offer is rich: parties, events, educational activities, games in recreational areas, safari rides. There is also an interesting botanical garden. The most popular pets here are probably the Big Pandas, which are very popular – not only among children. 

Welsh Mountain Zoo — North Wales

This zoological garden is situated near Colwyn Bay town in Conwy County, Wales. It was opened in 1963 by Robert Jackson and it covers an area of 15 hectares. Welsh Mountain Zoo is home to mammals such as Przewalski wild horse, Fallow deer, Red panda Welsh mountain goat, and California sea lion among others. The zoo is also home to a wide range of bird species including an Andean condor, Great grey owl, and Raven as well as reptiles like Boa constrictor, Burmese python, and Leopard gecko. 

Beauval Zoo, France

Beauval Zoo, France , was established in 1980 and is home to more than 4,600 animals such as: lions, white tigers, kangaroos, manatees and pandas. The above-mentioned beautiful and rare white tigers and a pair of twins – manatees are especially popular here. The zoo is included in the list of the 15 most beautiful zoos in the world. Two of the Loire Valley’s many castles, Chambord and Chenonceaux, are located near Beauval Zoo.

the best zoo in the world
Saïmiris monkey – photo source Beauval Zoo

Loro Parque (Puerto de la Cruz, Spain)

Loro Parque (Parrot Park) is a zoo located outside Puerto de la Cruz on the island of Tenerife in Spain. The zoo was designed to be a paradise for parrots and has become one of the most important tourist attractions in the Canary Islands with more than 40 million annual visitors. Loro Parque was founded in 1972 by Wolfgang Kiessling and initially started with just 150 parrots. Today, the zoo is home to more than 400 parrots from over 350 species and sub-species along with other animals. It is also known for hosting the largest indoor penguin show in the world, the largest dolphin show pool in Europe, the largest Thai village outside Thailand, and the longest shark tunnel in Europe. 

Hairy Armadilo – photo source Loro Parque

Bioparco di Roma

Bioparco Zoo a is a 17-hectare zoological garden located on part of the original Villa Borghese estate in Rome, Italy. There are 1,114 animals of 222 species maintained.

This zoo was created on the original spot of the Villa Borghese estate in Rome. The zoo was opened in 1911 to house exotic species of animals for exhibition and unlike many zoos at that time; Bioparco di Roma only worked for scientific criteria and was designed just for entertainment. The zoo covers 12 hectares, was designed by Carl Hagenbeck, and is located north of the Villa Borghese estate. It resembles another zoo in Hamburg, with ditches and pits rather than bars and green spaces. However, after numerous renovations and rebuilt, the zoo was finally turned into a biopark. Today, the park is home to animals such as Kleinmann’s tortoise – an endangered species.

Basel Zoo, Switzerland, Base

Basel Zoo, Switzerland, Basel is the oldest zoo in the country and the biggest in the country. It was established in 1870. It has a great reproducing program and according to Wikipedia every Somali Wild Ass donkey in the world is related to donkeys from Basel.

Prague Zoo, Czech Republic

Zoo Prague, Czech Republic,  one of the most interesting zoos in the world, worth visiting when visiting the Czech capital. About 5,000 animals, representing 630 species from all over the world, live here. There are very interesting enclosures for animals (chamois have their own “mountains”), a lemur farm, an island of monkeys, a “fragment” of the Indonesian jungle, huge cages with birds.

Moscow Zoo (53 acres, 972 species)

In 2014, the Moscow zoo was thoroughly modernized on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. As a result, it has become one of the most visited gardens in Europe. It can boast of almost a thousand different species of animals. Be sure to check the available shows and feeding times while exploring!

 

Zoos in America

Bronx Zoo, New York (265 acres, 650 species)

Bronx Zoo, New York , a wonderful zoo with over 4,000 animals on an area of ​​approximately 265 hectares. The biggest attraction is the largest man-made rainforest – Congo Gorilla Forest, and the tiger hill, where you can see the beautiful Siberian tigers. The zoo also offers a monorail tour – Wild Asia Monorail, from which you can admire a unique panorama of the Asian Garden.

Orlando Zoo, USA

Orlando Zoo, USA  was established in 1923 (it has been operating in its present place since 1941). The zoo (as well as the botanical garden) prides itself on using the latest methods in the field of science and technology to save the most endangered species of animals and plants. At the zoo, you can take part in numerous events (including those intended especially for children), events, shows, and visit them with a guide. It is more of a mini-safari, not a zoo in which animals are kept in cages. 

San Diego Zoo (100 acres, 650 species)

The San Diego Zoo is a precursor to the concept of keeping animals on free runs that best reflected their natural environment. Because of such an approach, San Diego Zoo is famous for its numerous escapes. The most popular fugitive was the “hairy Houdini” – an orangutan who managed to escape outside the zoo several times. While visiting the garden, you cannot forget about its greatest attraction – Skyfari, i.e. a cable car suspended above the animal runs. Zoo has an educational offer for the youngest visitors – animal feeding or spending a night in the zoo.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington DC, USA

Smithsonian National Zoo-Park, Rock Creek Park Washington DC, USA is the most famous and one of the oldest zoos in the entire United States. You can enter here for free and see 2,000 animals of 400 different species such as the Great Panda, Asian elephants, lions, gorillas, tigers, amphibians, reptiles, and many species of birds. For children – a special “mini farm”. There are also daily animal feeding and training demonstrations, as well as educational activities. Zoo has a Giant Panda habitat with the favourite Tian Tian Mei Xiang and Bei Bei. More can be seen at website of the zoo.

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smithsonian national zoological park

Chicago Zoological Park, Brookfield Zoo  

Chicago Zoological Park is located in Brookfield, a neighborhood in the city of Chicago. It is home to more than 450 species of animals and covers an area of 87 hectares. Since opening in 1934, the park quickly gained international fame for using ditches and moats in place of cages to separate visitors from animals and animals from other animals. It is also known for being the first zoo in the United States to exhibit giant pandas, one of which has been taxidermied and put on a display in Filed Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Lincoln Park Zoo

Also located in the city of Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo was found in 1968, and therefore it is the fourth oldest zoo in North America. Moreover, it is also among the few zoos in the United States with free admission. For some time now the zoo has been a member of the Association of Zoo and Aquariums (AZA). Lincoln Park Zoo is known for its wide range of animal species including polar bears, big cats, gorillas, penguins, monkeys, reptiles, and other varieties, adding up to 1,100 animals and 200 species. Within the park is an 1830 burr oak tree. 

Woodland Park Zoo

Located in the Seattle suburb of Phinney Ridge, Woodland Park Zoo is a wildlife conservation park and zoological garden that has received lots of awards across different categories. It receives around 1.4 million domestic and foreign visitors. The zoo started as a small menagerie on Guy C Phinney’s estate. After Phinney died in 1899, his wife sold the property to Woodland Park city. Exhibits at the park include Tropical Asia, the African Savanna, Australasia, the Northern Trail habitat, and Tropical Rainforest among others. 

Philadelphia Zoo

The Philadelphia Zoo is situated in the Central District of Philly along the Schuylkill River. It is known for being the first true zoo in the United States and was commissioned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1859 but was opened in 1874 due to the Civil War outbreak. During its early days, the zoo housed animals from Safari on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution, which at the time had not yet built the National Zoo. The Philadelphia Zoo is also among the premier zoos in the world for breeding animals that were deemed impossible or difficult to breed in captivity. It is ranked constantly as one of the top zoological attractions in America. 

San Diego Zoo


Located in Balboa Park in the city of San Diego, the San Diego Zoo is home to more than 12,000 animals from over 650 species and subspecies. It is part of the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance, one of the largest zoological membership associations on the planet, with over 250,000 member households and 130,000 child memberships. The zoo is known for being a pioneer of open-air, cageless animal exhibits, which recreated natural animal habitats. It is also one of only a few zoos in the world that successfully bred the giant panda, though some of the pandas have been repatriated to China. 

Henry Doorly Zoo Omaha

This zoo is located in Omaha, Nebraska in over 53 hectares of space at 3701 South 10th Street. The zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and it aims to foster research, conservation, education, and recreation. A few years ago, Henry Doorly Zoo was named ‘world’s best zoo’ by TripAdvisor, ahead of San Diego Zoo and Loro Parque. Originally, it was known as Riverview Park Zoo and was launched in 1894 but after evolving into Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, it includes a wide range of exhibits as well as featuring the largest cat complex in North America.

Cincinnati zoo and  Botanical Garden

The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden was opened in 1873, making it the sixth oldest zoo in America. It is situated in the Avondale suburb of Cincinnati in Ohio. Initially, the zoo was just 26 hectares but slowly spread into the neighboring neighborhoods and several reserves in the outer suburbs of Cincinnati. The zoo was appointed a National Historic Landmark in 1987 and today it is home to more than 500 animals and 3,000 plant species.  Moreover, the zoo is known for its breeding programs, having been the first ever to successfully breed California sea lions.

Oakland Zoo

Established in 1922, the Oakland Zoo is home to more than 850 native and exotic animals. It is situated in Oakland, California, and is managed by the Conservation Society of California. This zoo is known for its incredible animal care, more so its elephant care program as well as its modern veterinary hospital, which at 17,000 square feet, is the largest wide animal veterinary facility in Northern California. It recently opened the California Trail to the public, which is a program that focuses on the extraordinary native wildlife of the Golden State. 

The Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens

This 54-hectare zoo was opened in 1966 in Los Angeles, California. It is own by the city of Los Angeles. The first zoo was opened in 1885 under the name Eastlake Park, followed by the second zoo in 1912 called Griffith Park Zoo. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens was formerly constructed in the location of Rodger Young Village and was opened towards the end of 1966. Among the exhibits at the zoo include the Botanical Gardens, Campo Gorilla Reserve, Chimpanzees of Mahale Mountains, and Elephants of Asia.

St Louis Zoo  (500 species)

Commonly known as the Saint Louis Zoological Park, the Saint Louis Zoo is a zoo located in Forest Park in the city of S.t Louis, Missouri. It is one of the leading zoos in conservation, animal management, education, and research, and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Its first exhibit was purchased from the Smithsonian Institution after the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. After opening in 1910, more exhibits, departments, and buildings were added over the years to enhance animal care and habitat. It has numerous zones, such as Discovery Corner for children, River Edge, and Lakeside Crossing. 

Dallas Zoo

Located on 43 hectares, Dallas Zoo is just 3 miles from downtown Dallas in Marsalis Park. It was opened in 1888, thus the oldest and largest zoological park in Texas. The zoo is managed by the Dallas Zoological Society and is home to more than 2,000 animals from 406 species. Moreover, it is an accredited Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) member as well as a part of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). Dallas Zoo is widely supported by the community since it was handed over to private management. 

Houston Zoo

Opened in 1922, the Houston Zoo is situated in 22 hectares within Herman Park in Houston, Texas. It is home to more than 6,000 animals representing 900 species and receives over 2 million visitors every year, making it the second most visited zoo in America. As with most zoos in the United States, Houston Zoo is also accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Before it was turned over to a non-profit organization, the zoo was operated by the City of Houston. Exhibits include Birds, African Forest, McNair Asian Elephant Habitat, Sea Lions, Carnivores, and Texas Wetlands, just to name a few. 

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Located near Powell in Liberty Township, Delaware County in Ohio, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was named in 2009 by the USA Travel Guide as the top zoo in America and was also ranked the best zoo in 2012 by Besties Readers Choice. The zoo houses more than 700 animals from over 800 species and receives more than 2.3 million visitors every year. The main exhibits at the museum are categorized into regions of the world. Additionally, the zoo also features an 18-hole golf course on 57 hectares as well as Zoombezi Bay.

Toronto Zoo, Canada (710 acres, 460 species)

Toronto Zoo, Canada , covers 287 hectares and is Canada’s largest zoo. The zoo is divided into 7 zones: India, Africa, Americas, Australia, Eurasia, Canada and the tundra. The zoo is now home to 5,000 animals representing over 500 species. There is also a zoo for children and recreational areas specially designed for them, and the route is about 10 km. More on zoo side in Toronto.

Toronto Zoo is the largest garden in terms of area in our list, and it cares for over 5,000. animals, among which there are 460 different species. The garden is divided according to the regions of animal occurrence, a visit to it is therefore an interesting journey around the world.

The Best zoos in Asia

Singapore Zoo

one of the best zoos we have visited. My kids loved it 

Singapore Zoo , Singapore, hosts 315 species of animals, about 16% of which are considered endangered species, all in a vast wooded area with a natural water body. There are no cages and bars in this beautiful zoo. Visitors can experience close contact with pets. The zoo is famous especially for its collection of exotic birds, you can also take advantage of the offer of visiting the zoo at night, or the “breakfast with animals”.

Its a must visit for every animal lover zookeepers feeding animals 

Animal lovers  

Beijing Zoo, China, Beijing (220 acres, 950 species)

Beijing Zoo, China, Beijing attracts tourists with its wonderful nature. There are 7,000 animals, representing about 600 species (over an area of ​​over 50,000 square meters). The main attraction of the zoo are giant pandas and roxselans. There is also the largest aquarium in China. An interesting fact is that in the area of ​​today’s Zoological Garden during the Qing Dynasty there was an imperial park – the Garden of Joyful Kindness. 

The garden was established on the site of the former imperial park – the Garden of Joyful Goodness, to which the zoo owes its unique architecture. Here you can meet some of the rarest species of wildlife species, mainly from China, such as: giant pandas, Chinese tigers or Tibetan jeerens.

Zoo and Oceanarium Henry Doorly (130 acres , 962 species)

Henry Doorly Zoo boasts some really interesting exhibitions. It is here that one of the largest covered deserts is located, faithfully reflecting the geological features of the sands of Namibia, Australia and the USA. In the garden you can also find a roofed rainforest, an oceanarium and the Kingdom of the Night zone , including: eucalyptus forest or a bat cave.

Columbus Zoo and Oceanarium (580 acres, 800 species)

A visit to this one of the largest zoo can be combined with great fun in the nearby amusement parks: Zoombezi Bay and Jungle Jack’s Landing. Together with the zoo, they form an entertainment complex in which it is impossible to get bored.

Best Zoo in Australia and oceania

Taronga Zoo Sydney, Australia 

Perth ZOO

This zoological park is located in South Perth in Western Australia. Perth Zoo was opened for the first time in 1898 and as of 2011; it was home to more than 1,200 animals from 164 species as well as a wide-ranging botanical collection. The zoo has three major zones – Asian Rainforest, Australian Walkabout, and African Savanna – in addition to other minor exhibit areas.  All exhibits in Perth Zoo are designed to resemble the natural habitats of animals and use passive barriers to enhance the wellbeing of the housed animals.

Wellington Zoo

Opened in 1902, Wellington Zoo is the green belt of Wellington in New Zealand. The zoo is committed to taking care of animals and wildlife welfare inside the zoo and around the globe. Wellington Zoo also takes part in various breeding programs both internationally and locally and participates in conservation and research within the zoo, in New Zealand, and around the world. The zoo is home to animals such as lions, dingoes, Malaysian sun bears, and pygmy marmosets as well as aquatic and terrestrial birds.

Australia Zoo — Queensland

Another zoological site from Australia, home of the late ‘crocodile hunter’ Steve Irwin, Australia Zoo conservation efforts is to protect wildlife and the late Steve Irvin’s (aka The Crocodile Hunter)  mission of ‘Conservation through exciting education’. As a result, the zoo offers an array of hands-on experiences including learning to feed kangaroos and wallabies and encountering tigers, elephants, and wombats among many more experiences. Australia Zoo was opened by Bob and Lyn Irwin, Steve Irwin’s parents, in 1970. 

Zoos In Africa

National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (210 acres, 700 species)

Pretoria Zoo, South Africa was established in 1899 and is one of the largest and best zoos on the continent. It covers a vast area of ​​85 hectares, inhabited by 3117 representatives of mammals from 209 species, 1358 birds belonging to 202 species, 3871 fish from 190 species and about 350 reptiles and amphibians. You can see here animals that we do not have the opportunity to admire in other parts of the world, such as: royal vultures, white and black rhinoceros, or Bengal tigers. Aquariums and terrariums are also very popular here, as well as the possibility of spending the night in a tent in the zoo, or a cable car ride over the garden. in Pretoria South Africa

Also known as Pretoria Zoo, it is one of the largest zoos in Africa. It is famous mainly for the presented African animals and big cats, including cheetahs, lions, panthers and Asian Bengal tigers. The zoo also houses the country’s largest aquarium.

Best zoos in the world for every Animal Lover  – Pin it

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Ania James

photographer, traveller, mother of twin girls, wife, worldschooler, rulebreaker

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