The World’s Best Zoos are not always the biggest, but are the ones that have managed to almost completely replicate the natural environment that the animals that live in zoos all over the world, come from. The world’s best zoos are sophisticated and exceptionally well run, and not just a platform for plucking animals from the comfort of their own natural habitats to be on display like a road show, which perhaps they may have acquired a reputation for doing many, many years ago. The world’s best zoos allow their animals to roam freely and behave exactly as they would do in the wild, with plenty of space to shelter, sleep and breed. Here is a list of 8 Must Visit Zoos Around the World.
1 National Zoological Gardens, South Africa
For those of you looking for an ultimate zoo experience, look no further than the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa. Situated in the hills of Pretoria, the biggest zoo in all of South Africa is home to more than 2500 different species of wild animals. A true testament to the sophistication, knowledge and experience of the staff who work at and run the zoo, is the fact that almost every single one of the animals who live at the zoo today, have been born and bred there. Boasting the single largest natural aquarium in all of South Africa itself, there is also a fascinating reptile park and incredible collective of exotic and endangered trees.
2 Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida, USA
Taking into account that this may not be one of the world’s largest zoos, and pretty much a commercial zoo as part of the Disney Land Theme Park collection in Orlando, the park is home to more than 1500 exotic animals, never mind the thousands of incredible bird life and species of fish as well! Full time zoo keepers take the subject of conservation very seriously and work very hard to constantly promote nature conservation and look after the individual needs of each specific animal. The dedicated keepers ensure that the park as is close to a natural habitat as is possible, with the least human presence they can provide.
3 Basel Zoo, Switzerland
Who would have thought that one of the world’s biggest zoos could be found in Switzerland of all places, normally famous for impeccably clean cities, snow capped mountains, cuckoo clocks and let’s not forget the best chocolate in the world. One of the world’s paramount zoo experiences is tucked away in Switzerland. Not only is this known as one of the best zoos in the world, it is also the second largest most popular tourist attraction in the whole of Switzerland itself! With more than 6000 animals, such as the elusive Somalian Wild Donkey and the quaint dwarf hippopotami, it is also one of the oldest zoos open today, as the doors were originally opened in 1874.
4 Beauval Zoo, France
Starting out life as an aviary for more than a whopping 2000 different species of birds, the Beauval Zoo in France has been gaining popularity every day since they opened their doors in the 1980’s. It took 10 years before any other animals were included into the zoo and introduced as part of their large family of animals, which has now grown to more than 4000. The hugely popular pair of white tigers, Gorby and Raisa, is the zoos biggest draw card, and with stiff competition from the gorgeous manatee twins, Quito and Luna, you can be sure that this is definitely one of the world’s top zoos.
5 Bronx Zoo, New York City
If you are looking for the one of the world’s best zoos in the greater metropolitan area in New York City, then look no further than Bronx Zoo. With more than 250 acres of pristine, natural ecosystem, it provides homes more than 4000 different animals. Exotic, endangered and rare species of animals are all found here, including Siberian Tigers and the unusual hissing cockroaches and famous lemurs all the way from Madagascar. On the tour through the zoo, a must see is the Congo Gorilla Forest, more than 6.5 acres of natural bush and forestry, or taken an African Safari Adventure before heading on down to Tiger Mountain for a meet and greet with the Siberian Tigers.
6 Berlin Zoological Garden, Germany
An architectural feat of genius, the Berlin Zoological Garden originally opened its doors in the late 1800’s and has earned its reputation as an historical landmark. After surviving World War II, but not completely, it was restored to its former glory after the war had ended. The incredible structures that provides the home to the animals that live at this world famous zoo, is almost as fascinating as the animals themselves. One of the reasons it is one of the world’s premier zoos, is because of the rare and endangered species that are successfully bred and whom live there.
7 Schonbrunner Zoo, Austria
Without a doubt, the Schonbrunner Zoo in Austria is the oldest zoo in the world. Founded in the late 1700’s, this glorious zoo experience will take you to the rainforests of the world in the Rainforest house and the Arctic region of the world in the Arctic Polarium. In late 2007 the mother polar bear gave birth to two gorgeous polar bear cubs and showed them off to the world finally in the spring of 2008; although a reluctant star, the bears make regular appearances to visitors.
8 Smithsonian National Zoological Park, Washington, DC
Last, but definitely not least on the list of the best zoos in the world, is the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington DC. In the middle of Rock Creek Park, the ever expanding 400 species brings a massive total of more than 2000 animals. The absolutely brilliant part is that it doesn’t cost a thing, and regular visits are completely free! Kids, and adrenalin junkie adults, will love the Snore and Roar tour, where you are taken on a night time tour around the zoo, and you get to camp out at the zoo overnight!
All of these fantastic zoos around the world are an integral educational tool, encouraging, promoting and educating our nations and our youth about the importance and imperativeness of conservation, ecosystems and looking after our planet. The best zoos in the world, provide an exceptional platform in educating the public on respect for the environment and the animals, how ecosystems run and what impact man has on the delicate balance in nature. In years gone by, many zoos around the world were not run properly, however it is no longer the case and many endangered and rare species have benefited from the care and protection of captivity. Even though this is a list of just 8 Must Visit Zoos Around the World, which ones would be your favourite one to visit?
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