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15 Biggest Zoos in The US: Explore These Best Zoos

11 mins read
biggest zoos in the US
Photo by Wild Burro from Pixabay Copyright year 2018



If you like wildlife, here is a list of some of the biggest zoos in the US. These zoos have some of the most majestic animals and great facilities for visitors. One of the best features of these zoos is that they also ensure animal welfare and take conservation efforts to maintain the animals living in the zoo. You can also get to see some local wildlife in these zoos. Apart from being the largest zoos, these are also the best zoos in the world.

Biggest Zoos in The US

Here is a list of the fifteen biggest zoos in the US. These zoos have some rare and endangered animals and local animals. They also have great facilities and amenities for visitors. The views at these zoos are amazing. Your encounter with animals will be a great experience here.

1. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Located in Ohio, the United States of America Columbus zoo and aquarium near Powell has some of the best exhibits. The director of Columbus zoo and aquarium is Jack Hannah. This zoo is open daily, and the timings vary according to the day. The zoo members are entitled to free visits around the year and other amazing perks. Colo, the gorilla, is one of the main attractions of this zoo.

1.1 More Details

The Columbus zoo also offers people opportunities to intern with it. It also offers employment opportunities. One can get a year-round or seasonal job in the largest zoo. There are many other things to do near the zoo. One of them is to play golf on the Safari golf course. One can also explore Zoombezi bay and rent cabanas there.

2. San Diego Zoo

The San Diego zoo is located in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, the United States of America. The San Diego zoo opened in 1916. It has more than 600 species of animals, and some great exhibits like the polar rim bear exhibit. San Diego zoo is one of the biggest zoos in the world and is famous for its efforts to conserve animals. The San Diego zoo is also famous as it has giant pandas. Accommodating a giant panda is a rare thing for a zoo.

San diego Zoo
Photo by Zepps Project from Pixabay Copyright year 2018

2.1 Things to Do

One can experience the Tiger Trail at San Diego Zoo Safari park. One can find Sumatran tigers in this habitat. The theme of the trail also makes sure to make people aware of the causes of the endangerment of the species. While exploring the trail, one can shop for souvenirs, like T-shirts.

3. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Omaha’s Henry Doorly zoo and aquarium, located at 3701 S 10th St, Omaha, the United States of America, is one of the biggest zoos in the US. This zoo aims to conserve, educate, and research to ensure animal welfare. This zoo opened in 1894 and has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It has also been ranked as one of the top five zoos in the world and has the largest cat complex. One of this zoo’s best features is its regularly organizing fun and thrilling events.

3.1 More Details

The Henry Doorly zoo has the world’s largest indoor swamp and the largest nocturnal exhibit. One can see the swamp’s major exhibits are snakes and other amphibians. This exhibit is one of the major exhibits in the zoo. The Henry Doorly zoo also has the world’s largest indoor desert. This desert is known as the desert dome.

4. Bronx Zoo

Located within Bronx Park, New York, the United States of America, Bronx zoo opened on 8th November 1899. This zoo was known as the Bronx Zoological park and the Bronx Zoological Gardens. One can get to see more than 6,000 species of animals at the Bronx zoo. This zoo aims to save wildlife as well as places. The daily schedule of activities at the zoo can be accessed on the website of Bronx zoo.

4.1 Animals to See

This zoo has a Congo gorilla forest exhibit where people can see gorillas interact with each other. One of the best features of the zoo is that most of the areas in this zoo can be accessed by people in wheelchairs too. It is an excellent zoo in the world.

Bronx Zoo
Photo by Renee C Porter from Pixabay Copyright year 2018

5. Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Smithsonian’s national zoo, also known as the Smithsonian National zoological park, is one of the oldest zoos in the US. African lions are the notable animals found in this national zoo. The Smithsonian national zoological park opened in 1889 and has more than 2,000 animals. This zoological park also has webcams. One of this zoo’s best features is its free admission.

5.1 More Details

The Smithsonian Conservation biology institute is a major player in aiding the efforts to save wildlife species from extinction. The Smithsonian national zoological park collaborates with this laboratory to achieve its vision and goals.

6. Dallas Zoo

Dallas zoo, also known as Dallas Zoological park, opened in 1888 and is the oldest and largest zoo in Texas. This zoo also has a picnic area where you can eat lunch and relax with your family. If you are planning to visit this zoo, it is advised that you take out at least two hours of your day to explore the whole zoo. The zoo not only has some major exhibits of animals but also offers a wide range of activities that can be enjoyed with family or friends.

7. Denver Zoo

This zoological garden is located in Denver, Colorado, the United States of America. Denver zoo opened in 1896 and has some great exhibits like the bear mountain exhibit. The zoo opens at 8:30 in the morning for its members, and for others, the opening time is ten in the morning. They also have a sea lion exhibit, and you can see Asian elephants.

8. Saint Louis Zoo

The Saint Louis zoo, officially known as the Saint Louis Zoological park, opened in 1910. It is located in Forest Park and has more than 600 species. This zoo is famous for the efforts it makes for wildlife conservation. The hours of the zoo vary according to the weather. The nutrition center at the zoo customizes feed according to the needs of the animals.

9. Los Angeles Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical garden, owned by the city of Los Angeles, opened in 1966. It is one of the best zoos in the world. The main aim of the zoo is to create a good future for wildlife. More than two acres of the zoo is a habitat for animals of the Amazon. These animals include monkeys, jaguars, and otters. The hours of the Los Angeles zoo are from ten in the morning to five in the evening.

10. Riverbanks Zoo and Garden

This zoo, aquarium, and botanical garden are in Columbia, South Carolina, the United States of America. Riverbanks zoo was founded on 25th April 1974. Riverbanks Zoo and gardens are one of the best zoos in the United States of America and have an inspiring botanical garden. The zoo hours are from nine to five in the evening.

11. Memphis Zoo

The Memphis zoo, located in Overton Park, Memphis, Tennessee, the United States of America, is one of the biggest zoos in the world. The African elephants are one of the most notable animals in this zoo. The zoo opened in April 1906. Some of the amenities offered by this zoo include parking, dining, and picnic areas. If you decide to visit the zoo, make sure to follow the rules of this zoo. These rules prohibit people from bringing food to the premises of the zoo. Some websites have also claimed that it is a must-visit worldwide zoo.

12. Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

The Cincinnati zoo and botanical garden are one of the oldest zoos in the United States of America. The location of this zoo is 3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, Ohio. The zoo opened in 187 and has over 500 species of animals. The zoo is also home to Fiona, which is a famous hippo. Some of the initiatives taken by the zoo for the conservation of animals include building a better home for wildlife and conducting field projects.

13. Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo is the second most visited zoo in the United States and one of the largest zoos in the world, covering more than fifty acres. This zoological park has more than 6,000 animals and opened in September 1922. The timings of the zoo are from nine in the morning to five in the evening. The zoo aims to connect communities with animals and to inspire people to make efforts for wildlife conservation.

14. Riverview Park and Zoo

The Riverview park zoo in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, the United States of America, opened in 1935. The zoo is owned and managed by the City of Peterborough. Some of the major exhibits in this zoo are the river otter exhibit and the squirrel monkey enclosure. It is one of the best zoos in the world. One can enjoy serene views of the Otanabee river while walking around the zoo. Admission to this zoo is free and thrives on donations from people.

15. Kansas City Zoo

The Kansas City Zoo, founded in 1909, is the largest zoo in Swope Park, Kansas City, Missouri, the United States of America. It is a great fun activity in Kansas City, with more than 1700 animals to see. There are plenty of things to do in the zoo. It organizes several events, and the daily schedule of the zoo can be accessed on the official website of the zoo.

Other Largest Zoo in The US

If you want to see the world’s biggest zoo, here is a list of some of the biggest zoos in the US. These are some of the largest zoos with amazing exhibits and many animals. The experience of animal encounters in these zoos will be a great memory for all of you. Some zoos also have a picnic area where you can enjoy a relaxing time with your family. One can also get to see some exotic animals in these largest zoos.

1. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

This zoo and desert botanical garden in Palm Desert, California, is a non-profit zoo with more than 500 animals. The Conde Nast Traveler rated the living desert zoo as one of the best zoos in the US. One can access the events organized at the zoo from their official website. You can also book a private tour of the zoo. Some of the things that you can do at the zoo are feeding a giraffe and exploring some of the gorgeous trails. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens was known as the Living Desert Museum.

2. Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

The Cleveland Metroparks zoo, also known as Cleveland Zoological park in Cleveland, Ohio, the United States of America, was opened in 1882 and later founded in 1917. One can also shop for apparel from the zoo from their online store. This zoo is divided into many zones. Visiting the zoo has been listed among the top things to do in Cleveland. They also organize festivals with live performances.

3. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

This zoological park in Colorado Springs is the highest zoo in the United States of America. Cheyenne mountain zoo opened in 1926 and has over 700 animals. This conservation park also has the world’s largest giraffe herd. A great thing about this zoo is that it hosts several entertaining events and programs that allow people to come together. They also host some events that are exclusively designed for couples.

4. Toronto Zoo

The Toronto zoo is the largest zoo in Canada and opened on 15th August 1974. Toronto owns this zoo and is responsible for its management and administration. This zoo has seven regions and is spread over 297 hectares. One of the best features of this zoo is that it offers a variety of activities. You can ride a zoomable or take a guided tour of the Greenhouse.

Toronto Zoo
Photo by Monika Baechler from Pixabay Copyright year 2016

5. Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

The Pittsburgh zoo and PPG aquarium have twenty threatened and endangered species. This zoo opened on 14th June 1898. If you want to explore the zoo’s major exhibits, it will take approximately three hours to do the same. It is one of the largest zoos in the United States of America. One can also see Komodo dragons in this zoo. Komodo dragons are the largest lizards in the world. The timings of Pittsburgh zoo are from 9:30 in the morning to 5:30 in the evening.

Komodo dragon
Photo by 12019 from Pixabay Copyright year 2013

 5. North Carolina Zoo

The North Carolina zoo is one of the biggest zoos in the US. It is located in Asheboro, North Carolina, and opened on 13th August 1976. It has over 250 species of animals and the number of animals is 1600. It is also one of the largest natural habitat zoos in the world. Natural habitats are where the animals get ample space to roam around. One should take a whole day to walk around the zoo completely. This is because the zoo has several areas that represent different world regions.

6. Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield zoo is also known as the Chicago zoological park. It opened on 1st July 1934 and has more than 2000 animals of 450 different species. It is the largest zoo in Brookfield, Illinois, the United States of America. One of the best features of Brookfield zoo is that it is open all day. One can also get to see some endangered species in this zoo.

7. Oakland Zoo

Oakland zoo on Golf Links Road is a great zoo to see endangered species. One must reserve tickets for the zoo in advance to visit the zoo. The zoo also undertakes education programs and other fun activities for families and teens. One of the best features of this zoo is that it offers a variety of activities in which families can participate.

8. Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo is a zoological garden and is one of the biggest zoos in the US. Woodland Park zoo is in Seattle, Washington, the United States of America. The zoo aims to save animals and inspire the community to do the same. Woodland park zoo offers additional benefits to its members. The zoo offers plenty of amenities and facilities like ramps, picnic areas, and parking.

9. Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami, also known as the Miami Dade zoological park, is a zoological park in Florida, the United States of America. Zoo Miami is a beautiful zoo in the world. It has a black rhino habitat and a one-horned rhino habitat. The Miami Dade zoological park is the largest zoo in Florida. It is also the oldest zoo in the state.

Zoo Miami
Photo by Spykerf1 from Pixabay Copyright year 2019

9.1 Other Places in Florida to See Animals

Disney’s animal kingdom in Walt Disney World resort has some rare animals. This amusement park does not only have exciting rides but also brings nature to you. Lion country safari is another Florida place where one can see animals. Lion Country safari park has been named the third best zoo in the US by the USA travel guide.

10. West Coast Game Park Safari

This safari park in Brandon, Oregon, United States of America, is a great petting zoo in the US. West Coast Game is a safari park divided into different areas and zones. One of them is the African plains, and one is of South America. You can pet animals in this zoo. It has some rare and endangered species too.

Other Largest Zoos Around the World

1. Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park

Sri Venkateswara zoological park in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh, India, is the largest zoo, with over 1000 animals. It opened in 1987. One of the best features of Sri Venkateswara zoological park is that one can rent a bike from the zoo to explore it. The wildlife conservation society ensures that all zoo animals are safe and fed properly. As the biggest zoo in Asia, it has taken some great initiatives to take care of animals.

2. Beijing Zoo

The Beijing Zoo in Xizhimen, Xicheng District, Beijing, was founded in 1906 and is the biggest zoo in China. It is also the oldest zoo in China. Ling Ling, a giant panda, is a notable animal in the zoo. This zoological park has more than 14,000 animals of 950 different species.

3. Moscow Zoo

The Moscow Zoo, also known as Moskovsky Zoopark on Bolshaya Street, was founded in 1864. It has some great exhibits, one of them having displays of birds and butterflies. This zoo has more than 8,000 animals.

Moscow zoo
Photo by Tasos Lekkas from Pixabay Copyright year 2017

4. Berlin Zoological Garden

The Berlin zoological garden is one of the most beautiful national gardens in Berlin, Germany. This zoological garden opened on 1st August 1844 and is the oldest surviving zoo in Germany. It is one of the few national zoological gardens with great exhibits. Polar bears are the notable animals in this zoo.

These are the biggest zoos in the US. These zoos have some great animals; as they are the largest, exploring them takes plenty of time. One should plan their visit to any of these zoos accordingly. These zoological parks and gardens have gorgeous views and offer amazing facilities.

Suggested Reads:

10 Amazing Things to Do in Memphis

Things to do in San Diego“.

Best Columbus Indiana Restaurants.

5 Most Visited National Parks In The United States
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