8 Largest Zoos in the World

The title of the largest zoos in the world depends on what we mean by “large.” If we’re talking about the total land area of the zoo, then the Red McCombs Wildlife in Texas, with its 12,000 acres, could be considered the biggest. However, it only has 20 different animal species and is more like a wildlife preserve than a traditional zoo. On the other hand, if we’re only considering the number of species, that also doesn’t seem to fully capture what we mean by “large.”

This list therefore considers both these features to determine which is the largest zoo in the world.

8. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

8 Largest Zoos in the World
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a zoo located near Columbus, Ohio. It’s a non-profit organization. The zoo has more than 5,000 animals from over 700 species. These animals are grouped based on the regions of the world they come from. Back in 2004, the zoo began a project to make it bigger. Over the next 10 years, they planned to expand the zoo from 82 acres to 120 acres. The expansion will include new areas for polar animals and an African savanna.

7. Moscow Zoo

The Moscow Zoo has been open to visitors since 1864, making it one of Europe’s oldest zoos. Nowadays, it houses more than 6,000 animals from 927 different species. The zoo spans about 53 acres, or 21.5 hectares, making it the largest zoo in Russia.

6. San Diego Zoo

The San Diego Zoo is well-known worldwide and is home to over 4,000 animals from over 800 species. It sits on 100 acres of land, which is rented from the City of San Diego. The warm and sunny weather in southern California is perfect for many animals, and most of the zoo’s exhibits are outdoors. The San Diego Zoo is also heavily involved in conservation efforts. They breed many species in captivity and release them back into their natural habitats when it’s suitable.

5. Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo
Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo, found in Toronto, covers 710 acres of land, making it the biggest zoo in Canada. Right now, it houses more than 16,000 animals from over 491 species. The zoo is split into seven areas based on different parts of the world, like Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia, and the Canadian Domain.

4. Bronx Zoo

The Bronx Zoo in New York City opened its doors in 1899 and is the largest zoo in the United States located within a city. It covers 265 acres of land, which includes natural habitats and park areas. The zoo is home to over 4,000 animals from 650 different species, with many of them facing endangerment. Some exhibits, like World of Birds and World of Reptiles, are organized by animal classification, while others, such as African Plains and Wild Asia, are grouped based on their geographic origin.

3. Beijing Zoo

Beijing Zoo
Beijing Zoo

Established in 1906 during the Qing Dynasty, the Beijing Zoo has a huge collection of animals in China. It houses 14,500 animals from over 450 species of land animals and more than 500 species of marine animals. The zoo covers an area of 219 acres. The Beijing Zoo is famous for its rare Chinese animals, especially the Giant Pandas, which are the main attraction.

2. Berlin Zoological Garden

The Berlin Zoological Garden, opened in 1844, is Germany’s oldest and most famous zoo. It spans 84 acres and is situated in Berlin’s Tiergarten. With over 1,500 different species and around 17,000 animals, it boasts the world’s largest collection of species. Notable residents of the zoo include Bao Bao the Giant Panda and Knut the polar bear (Knut passed away unexpectedly in March 2011).

1. Henry Doorly Zoo

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, is the most visited paid attraction in the state. It’s home to around 17,000 animals from 962 different species. The zoo covers over 130 acres of land. While there are larger zoos in terms of size or number of species, none match the Henry Doorly Zoo when both factors are considered together. That’s why it’s considered the largest zoo in the world. Additionally, it boasts the largest cat complex in North America, the world’s largest indoor swamp, the world’s largest indoor desert, and the largest glazed geodesic dome globally.

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