Wildlife World Zoo

Wildlife World Zoo presents some of the most well known and beautiful zoos of the world, those where animal welfare, research and conservation are at the forefront of the zoo goals.

If you decided you definitely want to experience beautiful wild animals in the convenient proximity of a zoo (see the pros and cons of wild animals’ zoos in "See Wild Animals"), you might as well go to the best zoos in the world!


Before you take the kids to your local zoo, apply the same test we have to select World Zoos for this page. Then you can decide whether you want to give your money to support this particular institution. Ask yourself:

Is animal welfare the prime concern of this Zoo?

Is this Zoo helping understand animals better by allowing research?

Is this Zoo supporting animals in the wild by funding conservation?

Browse the Wildlife World Zoo page to find some of the best zoos in the world! This is not a classification or "Top 10 Zoos" however, and not an exhaustive list either. I will keep adding more zoos as I discover them or get a recommendation by you!

So... What zoo can YOU recommend? Please add your best zoo experience to this page!

Wildlife World Zoos in USA


 



Wildlife World Zoos in Australia / New Zealand

Wildlife World Zoos in Asia

Wildlife World Zoos in Africa

Wildlife World Zoos in Europe

San Diego Zoo, CA, USA

The San Diego Zoo works in cooperation with the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.

San Diego Zoo

Welcome to the famous wildlife world zoo of San Diego! Photo: Wikimedia Commons

San Diego Zoo interesting facts

The San Diego Zoo has:

  • 4,000 rare and endangered animals,
  • 800 species and subspecies,
  • a botanical collection of more than 700,000 plants.

And San Diego Zoo is also  breeding endangered giant pandas!

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park has:

  • 3,500 animals,
  • 400 species,
  • a botanical collection of 3,500 species and over 1.5 million specimens,

More than half of the Park’s 1,800 acres have been set aside as protected native species habitat. Good on them!

Special San Diego Zoo experiences

  • Soar as high as 160 feet above the ground on the Flightline Safari, and look from the air at rhinos, deer and more.
  • Watch the animal nursery where animal babies are being bottle-fed or cuddled by the zoo keepers.
  • Pat farm animals at the Petting Paddock.
  • Visit the insect house to appreciate the little things in life.
  • Spend the night at the zoo, when the crowds have gone, and see behind the scenes.
  • Organise a special event at the zoo such as a weddings, corporate events etc.

What does San Diego Zoo do for animal welfare?

The story goes that the first animals of the zoo were those taken in after being abandoned by a local exhibition.

Since then the zoo has an animal-friendly approach, where it tries to have exhibits that look as natural to the wild animals' real habitats as possible, and complemented by daily enrichment experiences. That means introducing new and exciting sights, sounds, and smells to keep the animals entertained.

What does San Diego Zoo do for conservation?

1- The San Diego Zoo supports 100 conservation field projects in 35 countries, focusing on wild animals reintroductions programs and helping save endangered species from extinction.

 Field stations around the world include:

  • San Clemente Loggerhead Shrike Captive Breeding Facility,
  • a sanctuary dedicated to rehabilitating the Mojave Desert’s endangered tortoises,
  • Ebo Forest Research Stations dedicated to research and conservation of the forests of the proposed Ebo national park, Cameroon,
  • the Keahou and Maui Bird Conservation Centers in the forests of Hawaii,
  • Cocha Cashu Biological Station, a conservation and research station located in the Manu National Park in Peru,
  • conservation centers for giant pandas in China. 

 

2- In the zoo itself research is conducted on species such as: the giant panda, Fiji island iguana, Galapagos tortoise, polar bear, Bornean sun bear, and brown kiwi.


3- In the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, 200 scientists are researching conservation issues and new solutions.

Main research interests of the institute are Animal Ecology, Behavioral Biology, Genetics (notably gene bank), Reproductive Physiology and Wildlife disease research, for example with the chytrid fungus, a very serious threat to frog populations.

You can find more about all exhibits of the San Diego Zoo, plus detailed location, opening hours and buy tickets on line (and avoid queues) at the San Diego Zoo website.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, NE, USA

The Garden of the Senses at the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

Mission of the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

The mission statement of the zoo is a good way to understand what this zoo is about and whether it supports important values. Indeed the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has a great mission statement:

  • Promote education and enhance knowledge of wildlife to the broad public.
  • Promote conservation of rare and endangered species of plants, animals and their natural ecological systems.
  • Promote and undertake research programs.

Special experiences at the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

  • Skyfari: get a different view of the zoo boarding an open-air chairlift.
  • Be an adventurer: pass waterfalls, spy on pygmy hippos and walk across suspension bridges through America’s largest indoor rainforest, the Lied Jungle.
  • Get lots of information and a close encounter with wild animals with the daily animal demonstrations and the aquarium touch tank.
  • Discover the mysteries of nocturnal animals in Kingdoms of the Night, the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit.
  • Imerge yourself in the Desert Dome, the world's largest indoor desert, located under the world's largest glazed geodesic dome.
  • Rent the zoo for an unforgettable cocktail party, wedding, birthday etc.

What does the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium do for conservation?

The Center for Conservation and Research (CCR) at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium is a center for research in molecular genetics, reproductive physiology, nutrition, plant micro propagation and conservation medicine as well as possessing a veterinary medical facility.

One key project is Amphibian Conservation Initiative, including:

  • establishment of research and breeding facilities
  • training of staff,
  • development of captive breeding programs,
  • release frogs back into the wild once threats have been lowered or resolved.

In association to the Amphibian Conservation Initiative, the Amphibian Conservation Education Project enables you to take part in frog conservation directly.

Please help the Omaha Zoo help frogs!! Send an email to educate@omahazoo.com to inquire about training programs.

You can find more about all exhibits of the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, plus detailed location, opening hours and buy tickets on line (and avoid queues) at the Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium website.

Bronx Zoo, NY, USA

The Bronx Zoo is the largest zoo in a metropolitan location in the United States. The Bronx Zoo is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society with the New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo and the Queens Zoo.

Welcome to the famous wildlife world zoo of the Bronx! Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Stavenn

Special experiences at the Bronx Zoo

  • Walk through the Himalayan Highlands and spot endangered snow leopards and red pandas.
  • Board the Wild Asia Monorail through Asian habitats where tigers, elephants and rhinos roams through 40 wooded acres.
  • Find your inner animal on the Animal Activity Trail: jump like Madagascar sifakas, dance like the white-naped cranes of Himalayan Highlands and crawl like crocodiles...
  • Experience 4-D theater, which combines a high-definition 3-D film with thrilling sensory effects.
  • For the younger amongst us, join the Bug Carousel where you can ride on an insect like a praying mantis or a grasshopper.

What does Bronx Zoo do for animal welfare?

Animal enrichment is important at the Bronx Zoo and is as variable as the animals: from a giant pulley toy for big cats, to a foraging log for birds or octopuses, or a mobile for monkeys…

You wouldn’t believe the latest enrichment activity at the Bronx Zoo! Wild animals such as gorillas, elephants, goats, sea lions, and pygmy porcupines are learning to paint!

Keepers at the Bronx Zoo work with their animals through training sessions that strengthen the keeper-animal bonds, stimulate natural instincts and behaviors, and facilitate the animals’ care.

What does Bronx Zoo do for conservation?

The Bronx Zoo is managed by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), a well known conservation organisation.

WCS

The Wildlife Conservation Society:

  • manages about 500 conservation projects in more than 60 countries,
  • protects many endangered animals, including gorillas in the Congo, tigers in India, wolverines in the Yellowstone Rockies, and ocean giants such as sharks, whales, dolphins and turtles,
  • educates millions of visitors in science and conservation issues,
  • manage more than 200 million acres of protected lands around the world,
  • has a team of 200 scientists working for conservation.

 

I am a huge fan of the Wildlife Conservation Society, having seen their work first hand while in Africa, and they are doing a fantastic job all around the world for wildlife. Don't hesitate to support them and the Bronx Zoo, you know you help wild animals by helping the Wildlife Conservation Society!

 

The Bronx Zoo is dedicated to greening its own backyard with energy-efficient exhibits and office buildings, recycling programs and even composting toilets…

The Bronx Zoo supports the Restoring Bronx Rivers project, which seeks to rehabilitate the lower Bronx River so it can become a natural and community resource for the Bronx again.

You can find more about all exhibits of the Bronx Zoo, plus detailed location, opening hours and buy tickets on line (avoid queues and get specials) at the Bronx Zoo.

Singapore Zoo

Singapore Zoo is one part of  the group Wildlife Reserves Singapore which also includes Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari and River Safari.

Singapore-Zoo

 Welcome to the famous wildlife world zoo of Singapore! Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Singapore Zoo philosophy

The Singapore Zoo philosophy is four fold (in this order): Conservation, Education, Recreation and Research.

That’s a good start!

The Singapore Zoo is also well known for the design of its animal enclosures: there are no cages in the zoo, humans are separated from other animals by wet or dry moats and glass.

Experiences Singapore Zoo

  • Meet Giant Pandas “Kai Kai & Jia Jia” at the Giant Panda Forest.
  • Visit the above and below river fauna of some of the most amazing river systems of the world: Amazon, Congo, Yangtze, Mekong, Ganges, Niles and more…
  • Share a Jungle Breakfast with Wildlife: Singapore Zoo is the only place in the world where you can have breakfast with an entire family of orang utans!
  • Take a ride on the shoulders of a elephant.
  • Discover the night life of Singapore Zoo through the Safari Adventurer Tour (on a tram) going through African, Asian, Himalayan and more landscapes, or walk the Leopard Trail or the Fishing Cat Trail.

What Singapore Zoo does for animal welfare?

All exhibits are designed to allow zoo animals to express their natural behaviour.

Any legislated codes for animal welfare in Singapore are regarded by the Singapore Zoo as minimum standards.

What Singapore Zoo does for conservation?

The Singapore Zoo support conservation and research projects such as:

  • the oriental pied hornbill project to enhance the population of the hornbills in Singapore,
  • the Bali mynah captive breeding and released in the wild program,
  • Tonkin snub-nosed monkey protection in Ha Giang Forest,
  • the protection of Sumatran elephants through the Conservation Response Unit using captive elephants and their mahouts to decrease elephant-human conflict and through working with local communities to find ways of cohabiting with elephants.

 

The Singapore Zoo supports:

  • the Global Tiger Initiative, an international alliance of governments and private industries dedicated to saving wild tigers from extinction,
  • the Wildlife Reserves Singapore Conservation Fund, which has the primary purpose of conserving Singapore’s endangered native wildlife.

 

Inside the Singapore Zoo research also happens, for example, the role of Malayan tapirs in dispersing different types of fruits and seeds or the ability of orang utans and chimpanzees to solve puzzles were studied.

You can find more about all exhibits of the Singapore Zoo, plus detailed location, opening hours and buy tickets on line (don't forget to book the Panda visit) at the Singapore Zoo website.

Australia Zoo (Steve Irwin’s Zoo), Queensland, Australia

The Australia Zoo, funded by the famous crocodile hunter Steve Irwin, works in association with the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and The Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve.

The work the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital does for the Australian wildlife is truly amazing. By visiting Australia Zoo you are directly supporting the Hospital and be comfortable that you are helping wild animals when they are at their most vulnerable.

AustraliaZoo

 Welcome to the famous wildlife world zoo: Australia Zoo, Photo: Kaus, Wikimedia Commons

Experiences at Australia Zoo

  • Discover crocodiles in the world only Crocoseum, with a unique glimpse of crocodiles in clear water ponds.
  • Dream in Elephantasia, the elephant territory featuring a large pool with a fountain, a giant feature statue of Ganesh, the Hindu elephant god and lush gardens.
  • Go behind the scenes at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital, Australia's largest and busiest wildlife hospital.
  • Hand-feed red and grey kangaroos as they roam their open-range enclosure.
  • There are a lot of close wildlife encounters possible at Australia Zoo, from having pictures taken with diverse wild animals, feeding beautiful endangered species or even walking them!

What does Australia Zoo do for animal welfare?

Animal welfare considerations are paramount in the treatment and veterinary management of patients at the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and are affected minimally by commercial or financial considerations.

What does Australia Zoo do for conservation?

The Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors are the conservation arm of the Australia Zoo. They are involved in numerous conservation projects around the world, here are some examples:

  • Of course being Steve Irwin’s Zoo, the Australia Zoo supports crocodile research and conservation in partnership with the University of Queensland. Research includes:

- capturing, tagging and tracking crocodiles with GPS Satellite transmitters, increasing our knowledge on the distances crocodiles can move and their ability to return to their habitat after relocation,

- monitoring crocodile behaviour and physiology,

- studying crocodile ability to remain submerged including during flood events.

All data are put to use in the hope of developing a peaceful co-existence of crocodiles and people .   


  • The Cheetah Conservation Project, in partnership with De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust and Cheetah Outreach, is involved in:

- improving the relationship between farmers and cheetahs by capturing and translocating cheetahs out of properties where they are not wanted (instead of the cheetah being killed)

- also, to help farmers protect their livestock and livelihood, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors support the Anatolian Shepherd Dog Program. Guard dogs are given to farmers to scare away cheetahs (see more on these and other amazing conservation dogs),

- fitting radio-collars, tracking, monitoring and publishing data on cheetahs,

- running local education to reduce the cheetah-human conflict.   


The Australia Zoo sponsors a Wildlife Hospital, with a wildlife emergency hotline, a 24/7 wildlife rescue team and rehabilitation program. The facilities at the hospital are truly amazing (I’ve seen that first hand), the teams dedicated and the vet treatment world class. Everything is done to give each and every injured and sick wild animal the best chances of recovery and release.

Inspirational!

You can find more about all exhibits of the Australia Zoo, plus detailed location, opening hours and buy tickets on line (and book special animal encounters) at the Australia Zoo Website.


These are some of the most famous Wildlife World Zoos! I hope you find some inspiration by browsing the zoos, and visit wild animals there or even better, in their natural environments!


Time for you to share YOUR views on what is the best Wildlife World Zoo and why!

What is your best wildlife world zoo?

There are some good zoos and some bad zoos...

If you have personally experienced a wonderful zoo for entertainment, animal welfare and actions for wildlife conservation, please tell us about it!

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What Other Visitors Have Said about Wildlife World Zoos

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Taronga Zoo, Sydney, Australia 
One of the best things of Taronga Zoo is the incredible view , one of the best views of the harbour in Sydney. The Taronga Zoo Corporate Function I …

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