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North Carolina Zoos

Discussion in 'United States' started by snowleopard, 11 Oct 2014.

  1. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The state of North Carolina has arguably one of the 10 best zoos in the nation, along with a surprisingly long and diverse list of other zoological delights. I was a little shocked to find that the state has at least 24 of America's approximately 670+ zoos. Have I missed any on the list below?

    24 North Carolina Zoos:

    Aloha Safari Zoo (Cameron)
    Cape Fear Serpentarium (Wilmington)
    Carolina Raptor Center (Huntersville)
    Carolina Tiger Rescue (Pittsboro)
    Cherokee Bear Zoo (Cherokee)
    Cold Blooded Encounters Reptile Zoo (Monroe)
    Conservators Center (Caswell County)
    Duke Lemur Center (Durham)
    Greensboro Science Center (Greensboro)*
    Lazy 5 Ranch (Mooresville)
    Lynnwood Park Zoo (Jacksonville)
    Museum of Life & Science (Durham)
    New River Zoo (Fleetwood)
    North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher (Kure Beach)*
    North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores (Pine Knoll Shores)*
    North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island (Manteo)*
    North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh)
    North Carolina Zoo (Ashboro)*
    Santa’s Land Theme Park & Zoo (Cherokee)
    Sea Life Charlotte-Concord (Concord-Charlotte)
    Tiger World (Rockwell)
    Tregembo Animal Park (Wilmington)
    Western North Carolina Nature Center (Asheville)*
    Zootastic Park (Troutman)

    * AZA-accredited

    P.S. The list only includes facilities that are open to the public.
     
    Last edited: 11 Oct 2014
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  2. zoo_enthusiast

    zoo_enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    I know this is an old thread, but there is one more NC facility that I came across - Sylvan Heights Bird Park (Scotland Neck) - this is a supposedly world's largest collection of waterfowl.

    That's said your list (and those for other states) is remarkable!
     
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  3. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The list that I've compiled has approximately 700 "zoos" in the United States and thanks to you I now have a total of 25 from North Carolina. Cheers!
     
  4. zoo_enthusiast

    zoo_enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    Wow! I wonder if you plan to publish similar lists for other states - I already saw your lists for California, Florida, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, but I wonder if you have any more? I would be particularly interested in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
     
  5. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    No worries mate!

    7 Maryland Zoos:

    Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo (Thurmont)
    Maryland Zoo (Baltimore)*
    National Aquarium (Baltimore)*
    Plumpton Park Zoo (Rising Sun)
    Salisbury Zoo (Salisbury)*
    Smithsonian National Zoo (Washington, D.C.)*
    Tri-State Zoological Park (Cumberland)

    18 Pennsylvania Zoos:

    Animaland Zoological Park (Wellsboro)
    Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary (Jim Thorpe)
    Claws “n” Paws Wild Animal Park (Lake Ariel)
    Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland (Allenwood)*
    Elmwood Park Zoo (Norristown)*
    Erie Zoo (Erie)*
    Insectarium (Philadelphia)
    Lake Tobias Wildlife Park (Halifax)
    Lehigh Valley Zoo (Schnecksville)*
    Living Treasures Wild Animal Park (Moraine)
    Living Treasures Wild Animal Park (Laurel Highlands)
    National Aviary (Pittsburgh)*
    Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park (Centre Hall)
    Philadelphia Zoo (Philadelphia)*
    Pittsburgh Zoo (Pittsburgh)*
    T & D’s Cats of the World: Wild Animal Refuge (Penns Creek)
    Wolf Sanctuary (Lititz)
    ZOOAMERICA North American Wildlife Park (Hershey)*

    15 Virginia Zoos:

    Bear Path Acres (Franklin)
    Bug Box (Fredericksburg)
    Fort Chiswell Animal Park (Max Meadows)
    Leesburg Animal Park (Leesburg)
    Luray Zoo (Luray)
    Metro Richmond Zoo (Moseley)
    Mill Mountain Zoo (Roanoke)*
    Natural Bridge Zoo (Natural Bridge)
    Peninsula SPCA Exotic Sanctuary & Petting Zoo (Newport News)
    Reston Zoo (Vienna)
    Virginia Aquarium (Virginia Beach)*
    Virginia Living Museum (Newport News)*
    Virginia Safari Park (Natural Bridge)
    Virginia Zoo (Norfolk)*
    Wilson’s Wild Animal Park (Winchester)

    * AZA-accredited
     
  6. zoo_enthusiast

    zoo_enthusiast Well-Known Member

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    Thanks a lot!
    I see that I visited 5 out of 7 Maryland facilities (including the National Zoo which is technically not in MD but close enough), 3 PA facilities, and only 1 zoo in VA. Still lots to see:)
     
  7. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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  8. Julia Marie

    Julia Marie New Member

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    Thank you for compiling this information (we share a hobby). To add: Suzie's Pride Big Cat Sanctuary in Rockwell, NC
    Home
     
  9. nczoofan

    nczoofan Well-Known Member

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    @snowleopard Which of the NC Aquariums was your favorite? I have been to Pine Knoll Shores (very briefly), yet have never been to the other two. I might be visiting Fort Fisher this week for the first time.
     
  10. nczoofan

    nczoofan Well-Known Member

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    Also North Carolina is the only state I can think of that has both an aquarium and zoo under state control. All 3 of the major aquariums at the coast and the North Carolina Zoo are under state control. Also as one of the faster growing states in the United States with a population of 10.3 million, its not as shocking that the state can support the amount of zoos we do.

    Just want to go through a few of the zoos in my state, that I have been to:
    • NC Zoo - Easily the best zoo in the state. Known for a complete North American collection, high exhibit quality and extensive work with endangered North Carolina wildlife and plants.
    • Sylvan Heights Bird Park - Largest waterfowl collection in North America. About 240 species of bird, mostly in walk-through aviaries. Has many species that are rarely held in captivity, and extensive breeding programs. This place in recent years has been adding none waterfowl species to its collection as well.
    • Greensboro Science Center - Likely one of the fastest growing zoos in America. In 2007 they barely had any exotic animals in their collection. Now they have a medium sized aquarium, tigers, Javan gibbons, maned wolf, giant anteater, komodo dragon, fossa and dozens of other species. Soon going to add 4 small cat species, okapi, pygmy hippo, cassowary and flamingo in 2020. Also just 40 minutes from the NC Zoo (with barely any overlap in collections).
    • Duke Lemur Center - an amazing species list and largest aye-aye collection outside of Madagascar. While closed to public, they offer a variety of tours where you can see many of the lemurs and learn about the cutting edge research being done.
    • Museum of Life & Science - Not a massive collection, but an insect zoo with about 30 species as well as a one of the better butterfly greenhouses I have seen. Black bears, red wolves, ring-tailed lemur (Because of Duke, almost every zoo in NC has got lemurs), and a nice assortment of smaller native wildlife. Mainly geared towards children, for whom it is amazing.
    Given the rapid growth of the states urban areas and nature focus, almost all of its animal institutions are growing pretty rapidly.
     
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  11. nczoofan

    nczoofan Well-Known Member

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    One more institution I forgot to mention is the NC Museum of Natural Sciences. Its a museum but in its dioramas and exhibits, are dozens of animal exhibits holding native fish (100 species of freshwater and saltwater fish), an insect zoo (23 exhibits), butterfly conservancy (with a sloth), 50 species of amphibians (plenty of salamanders) and reptiles. Its also state run like the zoo and aquariums, and its always free to enter. Next time I visit (likely very soon, as its 10 minutes away, I will take photos and get a species list).

    Since its a museum it also has extensive displays on NC's natural history, with one of the largest collections of whale skeletons, several rare dinosaur fossils, an imax theater and more. Overall they claim to have 200+ species of live animal.
     
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  12. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Pine Knoll Shores is by far the best of the three, with the other two being fairly comparable to each other. If you are interested, I reviewed all 3 of those aquariums on my 2012 road trip thread.
     
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