Are you looking for the coolest zoo in the world? Here is the list of the best zoos you should visit. A zoo is a facility in which all animals are housed within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also breed.
The oldest zoo in the world still in existence is the Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, Austria. It was constructed by Adrian van Stekhoven in 1752 at the order of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I, husband of Maria Theresa of Austria, to serve as an imperial menagerie as part of Schönbrunn Palace. The menagerie was initially reserved for the viewing pleasure of the imperial family and the court but was made accessible to the public in 1765.
Until the early 19th century, the function of the zoo was often to symbolize royal power, like King Louis XIV’s menagerie at Versailles. The modern zoo that emerged in the early 19th century at Halifax, London, Paris, and Dublin, was focused on providing educational exhibits to the public for entertainment and inspiration.
1. SAN DIEGO ZOO
The San Diego Zoo is a zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, housing more than 3,500 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies. Its parent organization, San Diego Zoo Global, is one of the largest[better source needed] zoological membership associations in the world, with more than 250,000 member households and 130,000 child memberships, representing more than a half-million people.
The San Diego Zoo was a pioneer in the concept of open-air, cageless exhibits that re-create natural animal habitats. It is one of the few zoos in the world that houses and successfully bred the giant panda, although the pandas have recently been repatriated to China. In 2013, the zoo added a new Australian Outback exhibit, providing an updated Australian animal experience. Another new exhibit, called Africa Rocks, opened in 2017.
With over 4 million visitors, San Diego Zoo is the most visited zoo in the United State.
2. SINGAPORE ZOO
The Singapore Zoo is set in a rainforest environment and is known for its “open concept”. This means that the only thing separating you from the animals might be a man-made ditch. This “open concept” has enhanced learning. The zoo is home to more than 2,400 animals and over 300 species. The Singapore Zoo has become internationally known for its conservation initiatives and breeding programs because it has over 34% of 300 species as endangered. If you visit this zoo you will find the enchanting white tiger, the intense African painted dog, the incredible cotton-top tamarin, the cute naked mole-rat, the tiny pygmy hippo, the rare white rhinoceros, and so much more. You can even pay to have a camp out with the animals at night. The “open concept” is definitely a new and intimidating factor, but it is worth the bravery because the zoo is absolutely stunning and loads of fun.
3. WELLINGTON ZOO
Wellington Zoo is nestled in the green belt of Wellington, New Zealand. Now over 110 years old, it was the country’s first zoo and has 13-hectare (32-acre) dedicated to over 100 species of fauna from across the globe. Wellington Zoo is a significant contributor to conservation efforts including breeding programs for endangered species such as the sun bear and Sumatran tiger, as well as spreading conservation and sustainability messages to the wider community. It makes Wellington Zoo among the coolest zoo in the world.
4. TORONTO ZOO
The Toronto Zoo is part of the coolest zoo in the world which is located in Toronto, Canada.
Encompassing 287 hectares (710 acres), the Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in Canada. It is divided into seven zoogeographic regions: Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia, and the Canadian Domain. Some animals are displayed indoors in pavilions and outdoors in what would be their naturalistic environments, with viewing at many levels. It also has areas such as the Kids Zoo, Waterside Theatre, and Splash Island. It has one of the most taxonomically diverse collections of animals on display of any zoo; it is currently home to over 5,000 animals (including invertebrates and fish) representing over 500 species. The zoo is open to the public every day of the year except December 25.
The zoo is owned by the City of Toronto government. Founded by Hugh A. Crothers, an industrialist who became the first Chairman of the Metro Toronto Zoological Society in 1966, the zoo opened on August 15, 1974, as the Metropolitan Toronto Zoo. The word “Metropolitan” was dropped from its name when the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto was amalgamated into the current city in 1998. The zoo is located near the Rouge River on the western border of Rouge Park in the city’s east end district of Scarborough.
5. WELSH MOUNTAIN ZOO
The Welsh Mountain Zoo is located in North Wales. It is considered to be a Zoological Gardens because it sits on 37-acres of gardens. It has around 750 animals with over 140 species in over 60 enclosures. Some of the enclosures fun are the winged wonders, chimp encounter, sea lions rock, and penguin playtime. The Welsh Mountain Zoo does house rare animals such as the red pandas and snow leopards. It has the California sea lion, Bactrian camel, red-faced spider monkey, green-winged macaw, ostrich, boa constrictor, tarantula, turkey, and so much more. A zoo is a beautiful place to check out rare species and to see the magical gardens.
6. PHILADELPHIA ZOO
The Philadelphia Zoo is located in Pennsylvania, the U.S. The Philly Zoo has over 1,300 animals with over 340 species of which many are rare and endangered. It sits on roughly 42 acres. It is one of the premier zoos in the world for breeding animals that are difficult to breed in captivity. It is among the top-ranked zoos in the U.S. The Philly Zoo has special features that include a children’s petting zoo, a paddleboat lake, a rainforest themed carousel, a balloon ride, and many interactive and educational exhibits. Some of the most endangered animals are the amur leopard, Bali mynah, blue-eyed black lemur, black and white ruffed lemur, Chinese alligator, black-headed spider monkey, Guam kingfisher, mhorr gazelle, and much more. The zoo even just had a new baby beau giraffe.
7. NOGEYAMA ZOO
A surprising addition to Minamo Mitrai district’s list of attractions is Nogeyama Zoological Garden, which despite being just a short walk away from Sakuragicho Station, offer a relaxing contrast to Minato Mirai`s ever-bustling and futuristic landscape.
Located on a hilltop in a quiet residential neighborhood, Nogeyama Park is a great place to escape the crowds and enjoy the peaceful greenery and wide-open spaces. When walking around it is hard to believe that you are only a few minutes away from one of the liveliest parts of Yokohama. A short distance away from this park is another interesting place worth visiting, Nogeyama Zoological Gardens.
Opened in 1951, Nogeyama was the first zoo to be opened in Yokohama. Covering an area of 8 acres, Nogeyama is the only centrally located zoo within Yokohama, making it very convenient and easy to access. More importantly, it is free!
The zoo has initiated a number of improvements including the construction of a new `Nakayoshi` area allowing children to interact freely with smaller animals. Many new programs have also been introduced including a `Night Zoo` during the summer months.
8. HENRY DOORLY ZOO AND AQUARIUM
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is a zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, located at 3701 South 10th Street. It can be accessed by I-80. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Its mission is conservation, research, recreation, and education. In August 2014, TripAdvisor proclaimed Henry Doorly Zoo the “world’s best zoo”, leading San Diego Zoo and Loro Parque, based on an algorithmic assimilation of millions of reviews for 275 major zoos worldwide.
Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is nationally renowned for its leadership in animal conservation and research. Evolving from the public Riverview Park Zoo established in 1894, today the zoo includes several notable exhibits. It features the largest cat complex in North America; “Kingdoms of the Night” is the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit and indoor swamp; the Lied Jungle is one of the world’s largest indoor rainforests, and the “Desert Dome” is one of the world’s largest indoor deserts, as well as the largest glazed geodesic dome in the world. The zoo is Nebraska’s top-paid attendance attraction and has welcomed more than 25 million visitors over the past 40 years due to been among the coolest zoo in the world.
9. NATIONAL ZOOLOGICAL PARK
The National Zoological Park is a part of the Smithsonian located in Washington D.C., Washington. It is called the Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. The SCBI scientists have bred animals more than 20 species at their headquarters, even animals that were once extinct in the wild such as the black-footed ferrets and the scimitar-horned oryx. It has over 1,800 animals that represent over 300 species. Animals here include the African clawed frog, the alpaca, the arapaima, the Brazilian rainbow boa, Cuban crocodile, dwarf mongoose, eld’s deer, and more. This zoo falls between the coolest zoo in the world and has a lot of history behind it and is something you and your family would enjoy!
10. NATIONAL ZOOLOGICAL GARDENS OF SOUTH AFRICA
The National Zoological Gardens is located in Pretoria, South Africa. It is home to over 3,117 animals and home to over 500 species. It has over 1000’s of specimens too. The National Zoological Gardens is the largest zoo in the country. It is the only zoo in South Africa that has national status. There is an aquarium that is attached to the side of the zoo, and the aquarium is the only one in the country. Animals included here are the black rhinos, western lowland gorillas, African penguin, cape vulture, a pygmy hippo, African-savannah elephant, southern ground hornbill, and lions. If it was just for the cutest little pygmy hippo, that alone would be a great reason to visit. Who gets bragging rights on seeing a pygmy hippo?