Zoos are a wonderful abode to get close to the animals we’ve only encountered in textbooks, TV shows, or in our imaginations. It’s a place where you get a chance to not only learn about the animal kingdom but to also witness it in its full form. The world is full of magnificent zoos, each with its own unique charm and collection of animals. From awe-inspiring habitats for endangered species to immersive experiences for visitors. The best zoos in the world offer something for everyone. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of the best zoos in the world. So you can plan your next adventure or simply indulge in your love for wildlife.
Introduction: The Importance of Ethical Zoos in the World
In this blog post, the writer highlights the importance of ethical zoos. While there are different types of zoos with varying structures, ownership ethics, and educational values. Furthermore, it can be confusing to distinguish ethical zoos from bad ones. The blog aims to help readers understand the importance of zoos in providing entertainment, education, and conservation efforts. Rather than exploiting animals for profit, ethical zoos prioritize the welfare of individual animals and promote natural behaviors and environments.
Best Zoos in the World
Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Accredited Locations
The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) provides a list of accredited locations for people to visit and learn about conservation efforts for endangered species. These zoos and aquariums meet strict criteria demonstrating their commitment to animal welfare and conservation. With fewer than 10% of licensed animal exhibitors achieving this accreditation. Visitors can rest assured that they are visiting ethical facilities that support important research and preservation projects.
1. San Diego Zoo – San Diego, California, USA
The San Diego Zoo in California, USA is a renowned attraction that has been hailed as one of the best zoos in the world. Covering 100 acres of land and housing over 12,000 rare and endangered animals, this zoo has been around since 1916. Visitors can participate in educational programs and be assured that a portion of their ticket cost goes to various conservation programs. It is no surprise that the San Diego Zoo is a must-visit destination for animal lovers and conservation enthusiasts alike.
2. One of the Best Zoos in the World Chester Zoo – England, U.K.
Chester Zoo is widely known as one of the best zoos not just in England but in the whole of the UK and the world. Covering 125 acres of land in Cheshire, it boasts over 12,000 animals from 400 different species. Visitors can take a boat trip on the river to observe the animals or explore the zoo’s many exhibits, including the Realm of the Red Ape and the newly opened Madagascar exhibit. With its dedication to conservation and educational programs. Chester Zoo is a great place to spend the day with family and friends.
3. One of the Oldest Zoos in the World Tiergarten Schönbrunn – Vienna, Austria
Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, Austria is the oldest zoo in the world, having been in continuous operation since 1752. It is located on the beautiful grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace and offers visitors a chance to see a variety of animals from all over the world. The zoo focuses on conservation and education and has a total of 707 different species with around 8250 specimens. Its primary attractions include the giant pandas which make it one of only 27 zoos in the world to have them. Tiergarten Schönbrunn has been recognized as the best zoo in Europe multiple times, making it a must-visit for animal lovers.
4. Alaska Zoo – Anchorage, Alaska, USA
The Alaska Zoo may be small compared to other zoos on the list, but it’s definitely not lacking in charm. The zoo specializes in showcasing local animals of the sub-Arctic and Arctic region, such as brown bears, bald eagles, moose, and harbor seals. It’s a registered nonprofit dedicated to promoting the conservation of Arctic and sub-Arctic species through its educational programs and exhibits. Visitors will surely enjoy learning about the unique and diverse wildlife of Alaska while supporting the zoo’s conservation efforts.
5. Toronto Zoo – Toronto, Canada
The Toronto Zoo in Canada is the largest zoo in the country, covering an area of 710 acres. Visitors can explore seven zoo-geographical regions featuring over 5000 animals from 450+ species. The zoo’s mission is to educate visitors on conservation and species recovery programs, including captive breeding of endangered animals like the Vancouver Island marmot and the black-footed ferret. Families can enjoy interactive wildlife experiences, animal-themed rides, and special exhibits like the Great Barrier Reef and Tundra Trek. Moreover, the Toronto Zoo offers a memorable and educational experience for everyone.
6. National Zoological Gardens – Pretoria, South Africa
The National Zoological Gardens in Pretoria, South Africa, is considered one of the largest and most highly-rated zoos in the world. Founded in 1899, this 80-hectare zoo houses over 7,000 animals from around the world, including mammals, birds, fish, invertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians. The zoo features a cable car, two restaurants, and six kilometers of pathways, making it easily accessible and enjoyable for visitors of all ages. Exhibits include the African savannah, large carnivores, and bird breeding units. Furthermore, the National Zoological Gardens offers a unique and unforgettable experience for any animal lover.
7. Lincoln Park Zoo – Chicago, Illinois, USA
One of the best and biggest zoos in the United States is the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, Illinois. Spread over 35 acres in the Lincoln Park area. It is a free-admission zoo and a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Visitors can witness Grevy’s Zebra Species Survival Plan, and the zoo is home to a diverse range of animals. Despite closing early in winter, it is a must-visit destination for animal lovers and those exploring the best zoos in Chicago.
8. Singapore Zoo – Singapore
Singapore Zoo is a unique open-concept zoo, making it one of the best zoos in the world. The zookeepers keep animals in spacious landscaped enclosures, which they separate from visitors by moats hidden by plants or rocks. Moreover, this zoo strongly focuses on environmental protection, with water refill stations throughout the park to reduce plastic waste. The range of animals on display includes rare and endangered species such as rhinos, white tigers, and lemurs. The zoo’s geographical zone structure makes it more interesting to navigate. Moreover, the lack of caging allows visitors to see the animals up close without unsightly bars or fences.
9. Bronx Zoo – New York City, New York, USA
The Bronx Zoo in New York City is one of the most famous zoos in the world. Boasting over 2 million visitors each year and is home to more than 4000 animals of 700 species. Furthermore, it is the largest urban zoo in the country. Furthermore, some of their popular attractions include the Congo Gorilla Forest, Bug Carousel, JungleWorld, and interactive experiences like sea lion and penguin feedings. The zoo provides a perfect family-friendly activity and promises to be an unforgettable experience for both adults and children alike.
10. Beijing Zoo – Beijing, China
The Beijing Zoo in China is the largest zoo in the country, housing over 450 species of animals and 500 sea creatures. Visitors can enjoy a natural zoological experience as the zoo is set in a garden filled with trees, lotus pools, and running streams. The zoo features beautiful animals such as pandas, elephants, leopards, gorillas, polar bears, and hippos. Visitors can start their tour at the panda pavilion, usually awake before 10 am. Then head towards their preferred areas such as Monkey Mountain, Wolf, Polar Bears, Brown Bear Mountain, and Lion Tiger Mountain.
Conclusion: Visiting the Best Zoos in the World
In conclusion, visiting the best zoos in the world can be a fun and educational experience for people of all ages. These zoos not only provide opportunities to see and learn about rare and endangered animals. But also contribute to conservation efforts through research and breeding programs. Moreover, by doing some research beforehand, visitors can ensure that they are supporting ethical and reputable institutions. From San Diego to Austria, there are plenty of amazing zoos to explore and discover.