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The top 20 American Zoos on my Bucket List.

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Pleistohorse, 14 Jul 2016.

  1. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    1) San Diego Safari Park
    2) San Diego Zoo
    3) Miami Zoo
    4) St Louis Zoo
    5) The Living Desert Zoo
    6) Lowry Zoo
    7) Oklahoma City Zoo
    8) Denver Zoo
    9) Houston Zoo
    10) Fossil Rim Wildlife Ranch
    11) Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
    12) Phoenix Zoo
    13) Gladys Porter Zoo
    14) The Wilds
    15) Cincinatti Zoo
    16) Jacksonville Zoo
    17) North Carolina Zoo
    18) Disney's Animal Kingdom
    19) Philadelphia Zoo
    20) Cheyene Mountain Zoo

    I give myself 3 years to get them all.
     
  2. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I've visited 19 out of the 20 zoos on your list (8 of them more than once) and if you live in Alaska it will take a LOT of flying and driving to cover the vast geographic area that you'll need to see all of the facilities. Good luck!

    * The one zoo that I've not been to is The Wilds
     
  3. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    But Bronx and Los Angeles zoo? :)
     
  4. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    I've visited eight of them, though tomorrow it will be nine after I visit the Lowry Park Zoo. Good luck and have fun at them!
     
  5. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Interesting list. I assume the list leaves out some fine zoos that you have already seen
     
  6. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    If you wouldn't mind, which 8 have you visited more than once? Which of the other 11 would you enjoy visiting again?
     
  7. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    It does. Of the zoos I've listed, only the Oklahoma City Zoo would be a repeat visit and only because my visit to OKCZ in 1999 was limited to just an hour as I passed through town at the end of the day. I remember it having a nice cat collection and paddock after paddock of hoofstock. I've always wanted to go back.
     
  8. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    Which eight? And if you have the time could you give me your impression of them, plus Tampa?
     
  9. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I just realized that I've actually visited 9 of the zoos more than once and they are all very impressive in one way or another. I listed them in order from my personal favourite down to number 9 but I'd recommend all of them. In fact, the top 6 zoos on the list would likely make my top 12-15 zoos in the country.

    San Diego Zoo
    Saint Louis Zoo
    Denver Zoo
    San Diego Zoo Safari Park
    Dallas Zoo
    Houston Zoo
    Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
    Phoenix Zoo
    Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

    Which would I like to visit again? How about these 3:

    Zoo Miami - superb, large zoo with a comprehensive collection and very few poor exhibits. The $50 million Florida Everglades complex opens soon.

    North Carolina Zoo - one of the 10 best zoos in the USA.

    Jacksonville Zoo - new tiger complex looks to be excellent.
     
  10. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! Exactly what I was looking for!
     
  11. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    My apologies for taking so long! I've been at Universal Orlando and between riding rides and sleeping, I haven't had much time to type out these short summaries. Here you go:

    SDZSP- a nice collection with nice exhibits. The tram through the field exhibits can be bland or even frustrating depending on the driver- if they don't stop for you to get a good look, or if they stop in a bad place, a lot of the collection can be missed. The other exhibits are all spectacular. A full day will be needed.

    SDZ - I recommend two days to visit this zoo, if you want to see it thoroughly. I'd also wait for the new expansion, African Rocks, to open, as it will add even more rarities to an already great collection. Most exhibits are average, and sadly, a few are below average. The three walk-thru aviaries are fantastic, and among the best of their kind.

    Saint Louis - this zoo has been greatly improving over the last few years. Great habitats were built for Andean bear, sun bear, Asian elephant, and seal/sea lion, as well as an average one for polar bear. Currently under construction is a new grizzly bear exhibit. Red Rocks provides a great hoof stock collection, and while some exhibits are great, more than a few are too small. The same can be said for Cat Country. The collection for this zoo is above average, though most exhibits are average. The system of upgrades that the zoo is going through is changing both of these factors, for the better. One day is enough to see the zoo if you don't waste time.

    Houston - I expected better quality from this zoo. The collection is certainly fantastic, especially when it comes to birds. However, I was disappointed by the amount of chain link that was used. The African area with gorillas, red river hogs, etc. was much nicer. The children's zoo was nice as well. The shoebill storks were obviously fantastic. They and the kagu are the only reason I'd want to go back.

    Fossil Rim - a little bland, as it really isn't different from the roadside feed-the-animals safari. There are a few exhibits for other animals, such as cheetahs, but the general idea and experience is the same.

    Gladys Porter - this zoo is mostly past its heyday, but was enjoyable nonetheless. The lifers I picked up here were pileated gibbon and Guatemalan mantled howler. Though many exhibits are outdated, most are still fine for their inhabitants. It was a nice zoo.

    Cincinnati - it's been quite a while since I visited this one. The collection is immense, and the exhibits have a drastic range in quality. It's a large zoo that takes a fair amount of time to see everything in.

    DAK - good quality and collection. It's Disney, so the park is good on nearly every front. The roller coasters are fun, if you have time.

    Philadelphia - can't help much on this one, I visited around 9 years ago. It seems to be mediocre quality with above average collection.

    Lowry Park - a more family, amusement-parkish feel is present at this zoo. The Australasian area has more rides than animals. I was expecting better exhibit quality, but several exhibits were just average, with a few good ones. The African cart safari is a must-ride, because otherwise you would not see kudu, bongo, crowned crane, or patas monkeys. The only way to see martial eagles besides the cart is through the bird show. The eagle only makes one appearance per day at the show. The native Florida section is nice, but some exhibits could use improvement. The key deer, which share an exhibit with whooping cranes, are hard to see. However, make sure you do because this is the only zoo in the world with them.
     
  12. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much! I really enjoyed your summaries and appreciate your insight. Thank you again for taking the time.