10 Best Zoos In The World

Best Zoos

Most of us don’t live in the African savanna or in the jungles of South America, so when we wish to take a glimpse at the world’s most amazing animals, we usually go to the Zoo. But what makes a zoo a great zoo? A great zoo treats the animals as residents rather than prisoners. Supplies optimal living conditions to the animals, to make captivity as close to their natural habitat as possible. A great zoo also runs a conservation program to attempt to breed animals that struggle to survive in the wild. The diversity of the animals kept by the zoo is another key element that makes a zoo great. Here’s a list of some of the world’s best Zoos.


1. Berlin Zoo, Germany 

The Berlin Zoo and its associated aquarium houses over 17,000 individual animals. Although the zoo was originally created from the personal animal collection of King William IV of Prussia, most of the animal population was destroyed during World War II. The current animal collection has been created through a handful of the original survivors, animals that have been given as gifts via diplomatic gestures and animals which the zoo has bred as part of conservation efforts. The Zoo is often referred to as one of Berlin’s prime attractions

Best Zoos

A large and healthy pack of Ibexes in the Berlin Zoo


2. Bronx Zoo, New York City, United States 

The Bronx Zoo in New York is one of the largest zoos in the world, currently housing around 6,000 animals of 650 different species. Since opening in 1899, it has been widely praised for its public wildlife education programs and its wildlife conservation attempts

Best Zoos

Bronx Zoo – one of the largest zoos in the world (source: Postdlf)


3. London Zoo, England 

The London Zoo, or Regent’s Zoo, opened in 1828 which makes it one the oldest Zoos in the world. The zoo holds a collection of over 800 species. While the animals are all housed in state of the art enclosures, many of the original Victorian features are still on show at the park, giving a real British atmosphere. Some of the most beloved areas of the zoo are the Aquarium that opened in 1853 and the Reptile House that opened in 1927

Best Zoos

Penguins at the London Zoo (source: Michael Pead)


4. Wellington Zoo, New Zealand 

Opened in 1906, the Wellington Zoo is dedicated to preserving native New Zealand animals, like the famous critically endangered national bird – the Kiwi, as well as animals from the wider Asia Pacific region. The zoo has been very prolific in the “Free the Bears” movement, which aims to protect the bears of South East Asia. The zoo frequently wins commendations for its use of green technologies and sustainable resources in animal handling

Best Zoos

A Kiwi – The critically endangered New Zealand national bird. Kiwis can be seen in the Wellington Zoo


5. Beijing Zoo, China 

The Beijing Zoo is spread over a huge area and holds a collection of 950 species. The Beijing Zoo is also the perfect place to see a wide range of rare Chinese animals that you are unlikely to see anywhere else in the world. The range of Chinese animals include: Giant pandas, Chinese alligators, South China tigers and Chinese Great salamanders. The unique zoo layout and architectural style, which includes beautiful gardens, lotus pools and authentic Chinese pavilions is also well worth seeing

Best Zoos

Elephant statues at the Beijing Zoo


6. Philadelphia Zoo, United States

Philadelphia Zoo was the first public zoo in the United States. It includes one of the best primate exhibitions in the world, including 10 different rare primate species like the Silverback gorillas, Sumatran Orangutans, Gibbons, Lowland Gorillas and Lemurs. The zoo has also been widely praised for its successful rare breeds breeding program

Best Zoos

A Polar bear in the Philadelphia Zoo (source: Postdlf)


7. Singapore Zoo, Singapore

Singapore is a small and dense island, but it has an urban park, a botanical garden, and a zoo they can be very proud of. The zoo opened in 1973 and has over 300 species, many of which are endangered species. The Singapore zoo is considered one of the best mainly because of the way the animals are kept and displayed: Instead of watching the animals through barred cages, the barriers between the visitors and the animals are as invisible as possible, using trenches for example. The Night Safari is adjacent to the Zoo. It’s the first night safari in the world and is one of Singapore’s best tourist attractions

Best Zoos

Entrance to the Singapore Zoo (source: Drew Lindberg, via wiki)


8. San Diego Zoo, United States 

With both the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego SeaWorld, visitors to the city of San Diego can see a very large number of wildlife exhibits. The San Diego zoo itself holds more than 650 species and subspecies, and was the first to exhibit the animals in a cage-less manner (using hidden obstacles like moats), recreating as much as possible their natural habitats. The zoo also holds a conservation and research institute

Best Zoos

Entrance to the San Diego Zoo (source: Jim Moore)


9. Zoo Basel, Switzerland 

The Zoo Basel, or formally: the Basel Zoological Garden, is a non profit zoo located in downtown Basel. It houses some 600 different species, including some species which cannot be found in any other zoo in the world. Some of the rarest animals displayed are Pygmy hippopotamus, Indian Rhinos and okapi. The endangered species breeding program of the Basel Zoo is known in the world as one of the most successful breeding programs

Best Zoos

Young cheetahs in Zoo Basel


10. Melbourne Zoo, Australia

Officially the Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, the Melbourne Zoo is the oldest zoo in Australia. Opened in 1862, the park features today over 320 species, both native Australian species and other animals from around the world. The Australian exhibit includes koalas, kangaroos, wombats, echidnas and more

Best Zoos

Entrance to Melbourne Zoo (source: David Hearle)


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