According to the “Best Zoo” survey conducted by USA Today Readers, a zoo in Omaha made it to the top 10 list. Moreover, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium has gotten its name as the best zoo in the world. Several zoos in Omaha are widely recognized for their educative, conservative, and exhibitive efforts towards wildlife. The first-ever ‘test-tube’ tiger was born in a zoo in Omaha.
If this is your first time visiting a zoo, then I would highly insist you go and visit any of Omaha’s zoos. Because, they not only give you the usual zoo experiences; and also, animal encounters, interactive experiences, golf cart tours, group walking tours, safaris, and several backstage adventures.
Discover the top 4 zoos in Omaha that will make lifetime memories and take you on an exciting trip!
The Top 4 Zoos in Omaha
1. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
Its attractions include the world’s largest indoor desert and rainforest. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo is mainly dedicated to educative, exhibitive, and research purposes, however, it garnered considerable attention for its exhibits and adventurous activities.
The zoo was initially built in 1894 with over 120 animals, and over time, it is currently abode to 17000 animals of 962 different species.
This zoo in Omaha is accoladed with the world’s best zoo title, and accredited by the Association of Zoo and Aquarium. Additionally, the zoo offers several educational exhibits that also qualify as zoos, including the following:
1.1. Desert Dome Zoo
It is the world’s largest indoor desert, often used as a landmark for the city of Omaha. It features wildlife as replicas of the three deserts; the Namib Desert, the Red Center, and the Sonoran Desert.
The Desert Dome is home to various desert animals, amphibians, and reptiles. It also includes a waterfall, 1 fifty-foot mountain, a cactus forest, canyons; several other creatures representing a desert-themed zoo.
1.2. Kingdoms of the Night
This is one of the most popular and biggest exhibits conducted by Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium; which shows how nocturnal animals live in their natural habitat. This small portion of the zoo is constructed as a part of Desert Dome. This bit displays the life of alligators, bats, fossas, etc. Here the visitors are given night vision, to experience the mysterious nightlife and dark side of wildlife.
Kingdoms of the Night is further divided into several exhibits, representing different territories; such as the first entry is through the canyon area, where visitors get to see the naked male rats and fossas. Following this, a bat cave comes, where short-tailed fruit bats and many other different species of bats fly around. Subsequently, the visitors are taken into the Eucalyptus forest; which gives off an Australian nightlife vibe, where the aroma is as fresh as a daisy.
1.3. Lied Jungle Zoo in Omaha
For rainforest lovers, Lied Jungle is the perfect vacation destination. You will get to explore the artificial-turned-natural tropical rainforest ambiance. Lied Jungle is also America’s largest indoor rainforest; where visitors can take a stroll alongside over 90 species of different animals and birds from South America, Africa, and Asia.
Lied Jungle is an abode to black howlers, scarlet macaw, pied imperial pigeons, and many more. On the other hand, Lied Jungle operates on a time basis, opening at 9 a.m. and running till 4 p.m. daily.
2. Scatter Joy Acres
It is a 26-acre urban agricultural rescue, therapy, and educational farm. This place is not a zoo wholly but a rescue-turned-zoo for those who want to either adopt or pet. Scatter Joy Acres has a certified program on Animal Assisted Therapy; where people can interact with animals in a loving and peaceful environment.
There is no better place for at-risk children, those with developmental disabilities, seniors, the homeless, the mentally ill, veterans, and those whose lives are disrupted by society than this place. In addition, the wonderful thing about this place is they are home to several over 200 animals, who were foster abused, neglected, and abandoned. Isn’t it beautiful? Well, my happy tears were a bit triggered by it! Anyway, for a sunny day out and to boost your serotonin level, I would highly recommend visiting this splendid abode.
3. Fontanelle Forest
It is a forest rather than a zoo, situated along the Missouri River Valley. It depicts, however, a zoo-like environment. This forest features hiking trails, a natural center, gift shops, and other picnic facilities. There is a peaceful sense of tranquility in Fontanelle Forest that appeals to those who wish to experience nature in its purest form.
Likewise, if you enjoy bird watching, like me, it is a great place to visit. It has over 246 types of birds, with around 35 different types of warblers. On the other hand, you can also find red-shouldered hawks, the only place to catch a glimpse of them in Nebraska. Besides, they are known for conducting school programs, education, and private events pertinent to the conservation of wildlife.
4. Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park
This park is affiliated with the Henry Doorly Zoo. This park is situated not far from the town of Ashland, Nebraska. A visitor center, tram rides, and the Wolf Canyon overlook are part of the park’s scenic prairies and wetlands, as well as dozens of native North American animals. Furthermore, it is a local neighborhood for bison bull, blonde bison, Elk, Pronghorn, American black bear, grey wolf, sandhill crane, pelicans, and burrowing owls.
In 2023, Omaha, a city in Nebraska, won the title of the second-best Zoo in the world according to the USA Reader’s survey. Just like the Phoenix Zoo, and Bronz Zoo, Omaha zoos are also known for their innovative, conservative, exhibitive, and educative standards. Moreover, their exhibits are claimed to give top-notch experiences for visitors and zoologists, who desire to protect wildlife conservation. Omaha Zoos are predominantly regarded as ethical because they put animal welfare, conservation, and education over other things.