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Visiting a zoo is a fun and educational activity, regardless of your level of interest in wildlife. Since zoos vary in layout, exhibit design, and resident animals, seeing a new one is always a rewarding experience. Here are thumbnail sketches of some major zoos across the U.S.

Bronx Zoo

  • Located in the borough of The Bronx in the City of New York.
  • 265 acres, the largest urban zoo in the U.S.
  • Over 4,000 animals.
  • A division of the Wildlife Conservation Society of New York, which also runs the smaller Central Park Zoo in Manhattan and the New York Aquarium at Coney Island, Brooklyn.
  • Especially noteworthy for its Gorilla Forest, which has the largest breeding group of Western Lowland Gorillas in North America, plus 54 other species.

Denver Zoo

  • 80 acres.
  • 700 species.
  • Over 4,000 animals.
  • Primate Panorama and African Predators exhibits are featured.

National Zoo

  • Located in Washington, DC.
  • A division of the Smithsonian Institution.
  • 163 acres.
  • 400 species.
  • Over 2,400 animals.
  • One of two places in the U.S. to see Giant Pandas.
  • Over 20% of its species are threatened or endangered.

Philadelphia Zoo

  • Oldest zoo in the U.S.
  • 42 acres.
  • Over 1,500 animals.
  • Features, among other things, giant tortoises and a large primate exhibit.

Pittsburgh Zoo

  • 77 acres.
  • 475 species.
  • Over 4,000 animals.
  • Unique captive breeding program for African Elephants, with young elephants on display

San Diego Zoo

  • 100 acres.
  • 800 species.
  • Over 4,000 animals.
  • Pioneered keeping animals in simulated natural settings.
  • One of two places in the U.S. to see Giant Pandas.

St. Louis Zoo

  • 90 acres.
  • 810 species.
  • Over 11,400 animals.
  • Has one of the largest free-flight aviaries in the world at 228 feet long, 84 feet wide, and 50 feet high. This is a relic of the 1904 World’s Fair.

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