When it comes to animal conservation, research, and education, zoos have been long-standing leaders, and visitors flock to them from all over the world to witness wildlife in its natural habitat. Given their importance in biodiversity conservation and animal welfare management, we’ve rounded up some of the largest zoos from around the world to give readers an idea of what they can expect to see and experience.
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is a sprawling 100-acre facility located in Balboa Park, California. It is home to more than 3,500 animals from over 650 species, with some of the most famous exotic animals like giant pandas, koalas, and orangutans. The zoo’s attractions include the Skyfari Aerial Tram, which offers breathtaking views of the zoo from high above, guided bus tours, and a variety of animal encounters.
The San Diego Zoo’s innovative exhibits, such as Elephant Odyssey and Africa Rocks, allow visitors to experience the diverse ecosystems of Africa and ancient elephant fossils alongside live elephants. The botanical collection of over 700,000 plants is another impressive feature of the zoo, which adds to its uniqueness and beauty.
Reputed to be the largest zoo in the United States, the Bronx Zoo is a 265-acre wildlife park located in New York City. It is home to over 6,000 animals from roughly 600 species, and some of its notable residents include snow leopards, lemurs, and tigers. The zoo has several notable exhibits, such as the Congo Gorilla Forest, which is home to some of the most endangered animals in the world, and the Zoo Center, which serves as the animal hospital and veterinary staff headquarters.
Visitors to the Bronx Zoo can take a ride on the Monorail, which offers an aerial view of African Plains and Wild Asia. The Children’s Zoo is another attraction where kids can pet and get acquainted with their favorite farm animals.
Located in Beijing, China, the Beijing Zoo is one of the largest zoos in Asia. It spans an area of 219 acres and is home to over 14,500 animals and more than 950 species. The zoo is known worldwide for its Panda House, where many people can get a glimpse of the famous black-and-white panda.
The zoo has several notable exhibits for visitors to enjoy, one of which is the China Wildlife Pavilion, which showcases wildlife from around the country, including the elusive snow leopard and takin. The aquarium is also a notable exhibit as it features an extensive collection of over 10,000 fish species from all over the world.
Berlin Zoological Garden
The Berlin Zoological Garden, Germany’s oldest and most visited zoo, is home to over 19,000 animals and more than 1,400 species, including polar bears, elephants, and gorillas. Its large size covers an area of 84 acres, making it a delightful attraction for tourists visiting the German capital.
The Nocturnal House, which exhibits animals that are active at night, and the Hippopotamus House, where visitors can observe hippos under the water, are two of the zoo’s most unique exhibits. Visitors to the zoo can also enjoy attractions like the zoo’s aquarium, which is one of the largest not only in the country but the world. The famous Penguin Parade is another noteworthy attraction that allows visitors the joy of watching penguins as they parade through the zoo.
Zoos play a critical role in animal conservation and education, leading in research and helping to manage animal welfare. The four zoos highlighted above bring people face-to-face with a wide range of exotic animal species that many people may not have had the chance to experience in their lifetime. The San Diego Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Beijing Zoo, and Berlin Zoological Garden are some of the largest in the world, with each offering unique features and attractions making them a must-visit attraction for any traveler.