From Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa, zoos around the world perform wonderful conservation services. They protect Earth’s wildlife and educate people about how they can help. With charitable donations, zoos protect the most vulnerable animals from extinction and foster health and reproduction. Of course, most zoos are only one or two acres large, housing a handful of animals. Others, however, are massive and are able to protect and keep animals from various environments. With that said, here are the 25 Largest Zoos In The World You’ll Want To Visit.
Located in the great state of Utah, the Hogle Zoo is 42-acres in size. It houses up to 800 animals with over 249 different species. From elephants to tigers to apes and giraffes, they have just about everything.
An old zoo founded in 1897, Como Zoo is in St. Paul, Minnesota and is owned by the city. At only 17 acres, it holds 1,700 animals and 66 different species. They recently rebuilt and expanded their ape and polar bear exhibits. They get about 1.2 million visitors a year. Which makes sense because admission is free. They depend on state funding and charitable donations.
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
Riverbanks Zoo & Garden in Columbia, South Carolina, has a wide array of wildlife, including an aquarium and botanical garden. It’s 170 acres wide with about 1 million annual visitors.
The Philadelphia Zoo is located in, you guessed it, Philadelphia, Pennslyvania. It’s 42-acres wide and houses up to 2,440 animals with 340 different species. Though it was established in 1859, it’s completion was delayed by the American Civil War. It completed in July 1, 1874.
St. Louis Zoo
At 90 acres in size, the St. Louis Zoo holds 18,700 animals and over 603 different species. It opened 113 years ago back in 1904, and they annually host 3 million people.
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At 100 acres, the Oakland Zoo keeps its animals in expanded “natural” habitats. They host 660 animals, and in 2012, they celebrated their 17,000 square foot veterinary hospital, the largest in Northern California.
Los Angeles Zoo
The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens opened in 1966 and is 133-acres of diverse animals and wildlife. They have 1,100 animals and over 250 species. Unfortunately, the zoo has had several escapes over the years, including Evelyn the gorilla that tried to escape five times.
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
One of the oldest zoos in the United States, the National Zoo is 163 acres and holds 2,000 animals and 400 species. It doesn’t charge admission and has a mission of educating and promoting conservation of wildlife.
Heavily active in animal conservation, the Jacksonville Zoo in Florida is 117-acres and holds 2,400 animals. Initially, it was a small, humble zoo but has greatly expanded over the years. They now have about 1 million visitors a year.
The Memphis Zoo is located in Memphis, Tennessee and was ranked #1 on TripAdvisor.com based upon visitor opinions. It’s 76 acres in size and houses 3,500 animals and 500 different species. In 2003, it became one of the rare zoos to have a giant panda.
At 106-acres, the Dallas Zoo is located only 3 miles from downtown Dallas, Texas. Keeping over 2,000 animals and 406 species, the Dallas Zoo is heavily supported by over 25,000 people and reached up to 1,000,000 visitors in a year.
The first United States zoo to have barless exhibits, the Detroit Zoo is 125 acres of land, holding 3,300 animals and over 280 different species. It’s a non-profit zoo, hosting 1.4 million annual visitors.
In Chicago, the Brookfield Zoo has 2,300 animals and 450 species in a 215-acre area of land. In 1934, it gained widespread recognition for using moats instead of cages to keep the animals. It also built the first indoor rainforest simulation.
Opening in 1978, the Minnesota Zoo design pushed the boundaries of exhibit design, organizing animals by their environment rather than species. At 485-acres and housing 2,351 animals and 447 species, the Minnesota Zoo is massive.
The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
The Henry Doorly Zoo is located in Omaha, Nebraska and is well-known for its conservation efforts. It’s also considered one of the best zoos in the world as well as the largest. With land spanning 130-acres, it holds 17,000 animals and 962 different species.
Berlin Zoological Garden
The Berlin Zoo in Germany may only have 86-acres of land, but they house an astounding 18,662 animals and 1,380 species. They also keep a giant panda and partner with universities for study and conservation. They receive over 3 million people annually.
The Bronx Zoo
For being in New York City, the Bronx Zoo still maintains a nice piece of land to house their various animals. At 265-acres, the zoo keeps 4,000 animals and 650 different species. This zoo gets over 2 million visitors a year and is one of the largest metropolitan zoos in the United States.
The Toronto Zoo
With 710-acres of land, the Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in Canada. It holds only 5,000 animals and over 460 species, allowing them to give the animals more naturalistic environments. It’s open year-round except on Christmas.
Disney's Animal kingdom
Opening on Earth Day in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest zoological theme park in the world with 580 acres of land. Holding all kinds of animal species, including gorillas, komodo dragons, and lions, among others. Around 10 million people visit the park annually.
The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
With 210 acres, the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa keeps 9,000 animals and 700 species. It is one of the 8th largest zoos in the world as well as the most highly rated.
The Moscow Zoo
Opening in 1864, the Moscow Zoo has 53-acres of land, holding 8,270 animals and 972 species. They specialize in breeding rare endangered species and study animal behavior and reproduction.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
A non-profit zoo in Columbus, Ohio, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is frequently considered one of the best zoos. It has 580-acres of land and keeps 7,000 animals and 800 species. The zoo is heavily involved in conservation, spending over 3 million dollars in 70 various projects within a five year time.
The Beijing Zoo
Founded in 1906 by the Qing Dynasty, the Beijing Zoo is one of the oldest in China. With only 220 acres, they keep 14,500 animals, half of which are marine life, and 950 different species. They also study and breed rare animals and have some of the most diverse collection of animals in the world.
San Diego Zoo
Another one of the rare zoos that houses and breeds the giant panda, the San Diego Zoo is one of the largest and most well-known zoos in the world. With 99 acres of land, the San Diego Zoo keeps 3,700 animals and 650 different species in mostly cageless exhibits.
Opened in 1828, the London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo in the world. With only 36 acres, it houses over 20,166 animals and 698 species. It also has a long list of “firsts,” including the first reptile exhibit, aquarium, and insect house.
Photo: Feature Image: shutterstock, 25. Bobjgalindo, Hogle zoo entrance, CC BY-SA 4.0 , 24. Wikipedia Commons.com (Pubic Domain) , 23. Carlo Giovannetti (Thief12), Riverbanks Zoo -South Carolina -USA-29July2004, CC BY-SA 2.5 , 22. Jim, the Photographer, Philadelphia Zoo entrance, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA-27June2010, CC BY 2.0 , 21. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain) , 20. Todd Dailey, Oakland Zoo entrance, CC BY-SA 2.0 , 19. The original uploader was Geographer at English Wikipedia, LAzoo, CC BY 1.0 , 18. wikimedia commons (public domain), 17. Moe Epsilon, American Flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruper) at Jacksonville Zoo, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 16. Unicurse, MemphisZooentrance, CC BY 3.0 , 15. Kevin1086, Dallas Zoo Zebra, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 14. Lawrence G. Miller (Lawrence G. Miller on en.wikipedia), DetroitZoo, CC BY-SA 3.0
13. Liz Bustamante from Chicago, Peacock at Chicago Brookfield Zoo, CC BY 2.0Liz Bustamante from Chicago, Peacock at Chicago Brookfield Zoo, CC BY 2.0, 12. Beatnik Photos via flickr. CC BY 2.0, 11. Collinulness, Desert Dome Omaha Zoo, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 10. Paul Sableman, Berlin Zoo, Germany -entrance-28May2011, CC BY 2.0, 9. Postdlf from w, Bronx Zoo 001, CC BY-SA 3.0
8. Mike Bowler, Crocuta crocuta Toronto Zoo, CC BY 2.0
7. Kurtis Garbutt via flickr. CC BY 2.0 , 6. Janek Szymanowski, 00000-Sammy Marks Fountain-Pretoria-s, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 5. A.Savin (Wikimedia Commons · WikiPhotoSpace), Moscow Zoo Entrance, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 4. DrexRockman, Tutle-Columbus-Zoo, CC BY 3.0 , 3. Wikipedia Commons.com (Public Domain) , 2. I, Cburnett, San Diego Zoo entrance elephant, CC BY-SA 3.0 , 1. Chmee2, ZSL London Zoo in the Regent’s Park in London, June 2013, CC BY-SA 3.0