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National Zoo - Asia Trail Map

July 2008. An awesome set of exhibits, and something that every single zoo should aspire to build.

National Zoo - Asia Trail Map
snowleopard, 23 Aug 2008
    • snowleopard
      July 2008. An awesome set of exhibits, and something that every single zoo should aspire to build.
    • snowleopard
      This 2006 set of habitats has really elevated the zoo, as for the first time in a long while there is something extraordinary in Washington D.C. Now that Barack Obama has come along there are two amazing achievements in that city!
    • mstickmanp
      Actually, the set of habitats opened late 2006.
    • DavidBrown
      @snowleopard: Would you consider this the best overall Asian animal exhibit in an American zoo? I think that the exhibits on the map combined with the new Asian elephant may be my favorite Asian animal complex, but I have seen many fewer zoos than you have. Others please chime in too if you have opinions on where the best Asian animal complex is in a North American zoo. These animals seem to get a lot less attention than African savanna complexes (other than in indoor rain forest exhibits perhaps).
    • snowleopard
      Hmmm...great Asian animal complexes? I perused my lifetime list of zoos, as well as my Bible ("America's Best Zoos" - which ranks the 10 best zoos for Asian animals) to come up with some suggestions. I was surprised to find that there are at least 10 American zoos with outstanding Asian sections.

      My 10 favourites (in alphabetical order):

      Bronx Zoo - JungleWorld, Tiger Mountain and Himalayan Highlands are all superb, and while Wild Asia only allows brief glimpses of several species via a monorail this zoo has a great collection of Asian animals.

      Columbus Zoo - Asia Quest plus the Asian elephants near the entrance area.

      Denver Zoo - The real wild card, as the $50 million Asian Tropics opens in late spring of 2012. This area will encompass 10 acres of the zoo and I have high hopes that it will be superb.

      Disney's Animal Kingdom - Maharajah Jungle Trek has some great moments (rare hoofstock and fruit bats) but generic tigers in a generic ruined temple zone is disappointing.

      Minnesota Zoo - Russia's Grizzly Coast only features 4 species but it is simply outstanding; Northern Trail has America's biggest and best tiger habitat (for the Amur species), as well as Przewalski's wild horses, takins and Bactrian camels.

      National Zoo - Asia Trail is brilliant, with a long list of truly awesome exhibits. Elephant Trails appears nice from photos and I would have no problem with this zoo being regarded as one of America's very best for Asian animals.

      San Diego Zoo - Monkey Trails & Forest Tales features some Asian primates; Giant Panda Research Station was recently expanded to included vipers, takins and red pandas; Tiger River; Sun Bear Forest; Absolutely Apes, Asian elephants, Reptile House (with many Asian species), etc. One could make the argument that due to the many exhibit complexes and the overall collection that this could well be the best place to look at Asian animals in America.

      Utah's Hogle Zoo - Asian Highlands is fantastic, and although there are only 5 exhibits (all for cats) the ambience and cultural artifacts are brilliant.

      Woodland Park Zoo - Trail of Vines and Elephant Forest are two components of the entire Tropical Asia section that takes up most of the eastern side of the zoo. Asian Tropical Forest (the $21 million development that will be complete by 2014) could well make this zoo a top contender for Asian animals and provide a 3rd exhibit complex devoted to that enormous continent.

      Zoo Miami - Wings of Asia is one of the very best aviaries that I've ever seen, and the numerous Asian paddocks (and the small Asian River Life loop) make this zoo one of the best in terms of collection and exhibitry for Asian animals.
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    Smithsonian National Zoo
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    23 Aug 2008
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