August 6th, 2010.
August 6th, 2010.
Not only do they have one of the best Elephant exhibits, but they also have one of the best Giraffe exhibits.
The one major complaint with this zoo is that it is simply too small, even though many of the exhibits are superb. The African Savannah area only has elephants, giraffes and red river hogs, while many other American zoos have a dizzying array of animals of all shapes and sizes just in their African areas. Folks at the zoo on my visit in August often skipped the children's Jungle Gym zone as well as the historic farmyard area, meaning that I bet a lot of visitors only spend about 2 hours at the zoo. It is a shame, as the Nashville Zoo has an amazing elephant exhibit, a huge giraffe enclosure, a fantastic meerkat exhibit, many other top-quality habitats and one of the best reptile/amphibian complexes in North America.
What's wrong with a small zoo? Some of the best zoos I've been to could be done in 2-3 hours (Apenheul, Living Coasts, even Cotswold). If it's otherwise very good then it's just a very good small zoo, which is always nice to see.
Compare it to any zoo that opened on its site 14 years ago
I gave Nashville Zoo a glowing review on my summer road trip thread, and I truly enjoy small zoos that are of high quality. I just don't think that I'd want Nashville to be my local zoo, as it does not have depth in the animal collection and after a few visits per year I'd be craving more!
I suppose it's more of an issue if you have to travel further to get to a bigger zoo!
@snowleopard: of all the zoos that you have experienced would you say that this is the best stand-alone giraffe exhibit that you have seen (i.e. giraffe-only exhibit as opposed to large mixed species savanna like SDWAP, Disney, etc.)?
What other stand-alone giraffe exhibits would you rank as outstanding?
If any others reading this have an opinion would like to hear from you on this too.
There are plenty of terrific exhibits that I've seen over the years that only feature giraffes, but Nashville might just have the best one of all. Glancing through my Bible ("America's Best Zoos") I managed to think of loads of excellent giraffe exhibits but practically all of them also involved various hoofstock or African birds.
I guess I shouldn't have been too restrictive re: other species. Mainly I was wondering about giraffe exhibits that are in urban zoos and don't have room for sprawling multi-acre savannas like the San Diego Safari Park or Disney.
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