Zoos have been a source of entertainment and education for people of all ages for centuries. From showcasing exotic animals to conducting important research and conservation efforts, zoos have become an integral part of modern society. With so many zoos in the world, it can be difficult to determine which ones are the largest and most impressive.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the top 10 largest zoos in the world. We will examine the number of species held in captivity and the total land area of each zoo to determine which ones reign supreme. From the oldest scientific zoo in the world to the largest collection of animal species, each zoo on this list has something unique to offer visitors.
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#10. The San Diego Zoo – 100 Acres, 650 Species of Animals
The San Diego Zoo is one of the most well-known zoos in the world, and it’s no surprise why. With over 3,700 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies, this zoo is truly a remarkable place to visit. Located in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, the zoo covers an impressive 100 acres of land.
One of the most unique aspects of the San Diego Zoo is its open-air exhibits, which have eliminated cages for each of the displays. This allows visitors to see the animals in a more naturalistic environment and also allows the animals to have more space to roam. The zoo is also one of the most active zoos in conservation and preservation efforts, breeding many species in captivity for the purpose of eventually releasing them into their native habitats.
From giant pandas to exotic birds, the San Diego Zoo has something for everyone. Visitors can take a stroll through the tropical rainforest exhibit, see polar bears in their arctic habitat, or even witness the fastest land animal, the cheetah, in action. With its stunning exhibits and dedication to conservation, the San Diego Zoo is truly a must-visit destination for animal lovers around the world.
#9. The London Zoo – 36 Acres, 755 Species of Animals
The London Zoo, also known as Regent’s Zoo, is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in 1828 with the aim of conducting scientific studies and research. The zoo first opened its doors to the public in 1847 and has since been home to over 755 species of animals on its 36-acre land. The zoo has also been involved in various conservation efforts, including the Tiger S.O.S. program aimed at raising funds to save the Sumatran Tiger.
Apart from being the world’s oldest scientific zoo, the London Zoo is also known for its innovative and interactive exhibits that offer visitors a unique opportunity to interact with the animals. The zoo’s exhibits are designed to replicate the animals’ natural habitats, with the animals given ample space to move around freely.
The London Zoo’s collection of animals includes rare and endangered species such as the Sumatran Tiger, the Galapagos Tortoise, the Philippine Crocodile, and the Komodo Dragon. Visitors can also witness the daily feedings of animals such as the Penguins, Lions, and Meerkats, among others.
#8. The Bronx Zoo – 265 Acres, 650 Species of Animals
The Bronx Zoo, located in the Bronx borough of New York City, is one of the largest metropolitan zoos in the world. The zoo covers 265 acres of park property and naturalistic lands, and it boasts more than 4,000 total animals representing approximately 650 different species.
The zoo’s exhibits are designed to incorporate the Bronx River among its displays, and visitors can explore a variety of habitats, from African savannas to Asian rainforests. The zoo also offers a range of interactive experiences, including animal encounters, behind-the-scenes tours, and the Wild Asia Monorail, which takes visitors on a tour of the zoo’s Asian exhibits.
One of the Bronx Zoo’s notable conservation efforts is its work with the Wildlife Conservation Society to protect gorillas in Central Africa. The zoo also participates in breeding programs for endangered species, such as the Père David’s deer and the red panda.
#7. The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa – 210 Acres, 705 Species of Animals
The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, located in Pretoria, is the national zoo of South Africa. The zoo is divided into two sections, with one situated on the slopes of a hill and the other on flat land. The Apies River runs through the zoo, dividing the two sections.
The zoo has 210 acres of land and houses over 705 species of animals, with approximately 9,000 individual animals as a part of the zoo.
Some of the highlights of the zoo include the primate section, bird park, reptile park, aquarium, and animal farm. The zoo also has several conservation and research programs, such as the Cheetah Breeding Project and the Rhino Breeding Project.
#6. The Moscow Zoo – 53 Acres, 927 Species of Animals
The Moscow Zoo has a long history dating back to 1864 when it was founded. Over the years, the zoo has grown significantly, both in terms of its animal collection and its facilities. The zoo is currently home to over 6,000 individual animals from around 927 different species.
One of the most notable recent additions to the Moscow Zoo is a large sea aquarium, which is a popular attraction for visitors of all ages. The zoo also boasts a new aviary, a sea lion exhibit, and other attractions designed to engage and educate visitors about the various species housed at the zoo.
In addition to its impressive animal collection, the Moscow Zoo is also well-known for its conservation efforts. The zoo actively participates in various breeding programs to help endangered species recover and maintain sustainable populations. Visitors to the zoo can learn about these efforts and the important role that zoos play in conservation and animal welfare.
#5. The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium – 130 Acres, 962 Species of Animals
The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is located in Omaha, Nebraska and covers an area of 130 acres. It was originally known as the Riverview Park Zoo and was established in 1864. Today, the zoo is home to over 962 different species of animals, making it one of the largest and most diverse collections in the world.
One of the most notable exhibits at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is the Cat Complex, which is the largest of its kind in North America. Visitors can view a range of big cats, including tigers, lions, jaguars, and cheetahs.
The zoo is also home to the largest indoor desert in the world, the Desert Dome, which features a variety of plants and animals found in desert regions around the world. The Lied Jungle exhibit is another popular attraction, featuring a replica of a rainforest environment complete with waterfalls, exotic birds, and primates.
#4. The Beijing Zoo – 219 Acres, 950 Species of Animals
This zoo was founded in 1906 during the late Qing Dynasty and is now home to one of the largest animal collections in China. Set on 219 acres of land and housing 950 species of animals, the Beijing Zoo is best known for its collection of rare animals endemic to China.
This includes Giant Pandas, the zoo’s most popular animals, the South China Tiger, Chinese Alligators and the Chinese Great Salamander. With more than six million people that come to see it each year, Beijing Zoo is among the world’s largest zoos in existence today.
#3. The Toronto Zoo – 710 Acres, 491 Species of Animals
The Toronto Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the world, covering an impressive 710 acres of land. This zoo is located in Toronto, Canada and is home to over 5,000 animals of 491 different species. The zoo is divided into seven different regions, each representing animals from various parts of the world. Some of the popular exhibits at the Toronto Zoo include the African Savanna, the Tundra Trek, and the Great Barrier Reef.
One unique feature of the Toronto Zoo is its extensive breeding program, which has successfully bred and released several endangered species back into their natural habitats. In addition to conservation efforts, the zoo also offers a range of educational programs and events for visitors of all ages.
Overall, the Toronto Zoo is a must-visit destination for animal lovers and families looking for a fun and educational experience. With its vast size and diverse collection of animals, there is truly something for everyone at this impressive zoo.
#2. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – 580 acres, 793 Species of Animals
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a non-profit zoo in Powell, Ohio. This zoo has been named the number one zoo in the United States on multiple occasions. Currently home to 793 different species of over 9,000 total animals, the zoo enjoys over 2.3 million annual visitors.
The zoo has gained its world-renowned status from its own conservation program and extensive funding to outside programs as well. The 580 acres of land is home to the zoo itself as well as Zoombezi Bay and Jungle Jack’s landing, offering multiple attractions on its grounds.
#1. Berlin Zoological Garden: 84 Acres, 1,500 Species of Animals
The Berlin Zoological Garden was opened in 1844 and is the oldest zoo in Germany. Located in Berlin’s Tiergarten, the zoo is home to 1,500 species and 19,500 total animals. At this number, the Berlin Zoological Garden holds the most comprehensive collection of species in the world.
The zoo is considered to be the most visited zoo in Europe and among one of the most popular zoos worldwide. Over 3 million visitors come to the zoo annually to witness the most famous attraction offered which is the feeding of the animals.
1. Which zoo has the most animals in the world?
The Beijing Zoo in China is believed to have the most animals in the world, with over 950 different species of animals residing within its 219 acres of land.
2. Are all of the animals in kept in captivity?
Yes, all of the animals in the zoos mentioned in this article are kept in captivity. Zoos have become an essential part of animal conservation efforts worldwide and play a crucial role in protecting endangered species.
3. Do zoos only house exotic animals?
No, zoos also house local wildlife species that may have been injured or need rehabilitation. They also serve as educational and research institutions and play a significant role in preserving and protecting wildlife.
4. What efforts do they make to preserve and conserve animals?
Zoos engage in a variety of efforts to preserve and conserve animals, including breeding programs, research, and conservation education. They also work with various organizations to promote habitat protection and conservation.
5. Are the animals well-cared for in zoological gardens?
Zoos have teams of veterinarians, caretakers, and staff who work diligently to ensure the health and well-being of the animals in their care. Many zoos have implemented modern technology to ensure that the animals are kept in environments that closely mimic their natural habitats.
6. Can you adopt or sponsor animals?
Many zoos offer adoption and sponsorship programs that allow individuals to support the care and conservation of specific animals. These programs provide an opportunity for individuals to engage with the animals and support their well-being and conservation.
7. Can visitors interact with the animals?
Most zoos do not allow direct interaction with the animals to ensure their safety and well-being. However, visitors can often observe the animals up close and learn about them through educational exhibits and programs.
8. How do zoos ensure the safety of visitors?
Zoos have strict safety protocols in place to ensure the safety of visitors, staff, and animals. Visitors are often provided with guidelines and instructions on how to behave around the animals, and barriers and enclosures are used to keep both visitors and animals safe.
Zoos around the world offer visitors a chance to view and learn about a diverse array of animal species in a controlled environment. The largest zoos in the world, as outlined in this article, showcase not only the vast number of animals they house but also their dedication to conservation and preservation efforts.
While there are debates surrounding the ethics of keeping animals in captivity, these zoos play an important role in education and research for the betterment of both animals and humans.
With continued efforts towards responsible animal care and conservation, these zoos can continue to be valuable resource for generations to come.