Join our zoo community

top ten American zoos revealed

Discussion in 'United States' started by Ned, 23 Apr 2015.

  1. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 May 2009
    Posts:
    498
    Location:
    South Gloucestershire, UK
    I've only been to the US twice so thought it was about time I put together a wish list of zoos to visit in America. I did this by compiling a top ten of US zoos using the book 'America's Best Zoos' by Nyhuis and Wassner.
    I first compile a top ten by using appendix one of the book. This appendix gives list of the best zoos in 20 categories (e.g. bird collection). First and second place are given but the remaining 8 places in each category are listed alphabetically. Each time a zoo appeared in a list I gave it one point plus two bonus points if it was in first place and one bonus point for second. Having come up with a top ten I turned to appendix two with gives two lists of the top 25 zoo exhibits in the US (one list for each author). I did a second top ten by giving a zoo one point for each top ten exhibit. The second top ten differed from the first so I did an average between the two lists to come up with a third and ultimate top ten American zoos. The top ten are as follows:
    1) San Diego Zoo
    2) joint second between The Bronx and ... Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
    3) Denver
    4) San Diego Safari Park
    5) Brookfield
    6) The National Zoo, Washington
    7) Cincinnati
    8) Memphis
    9) St Louis
    That's 10 zoos in 9 positions due to joint second. Disney would have come next. Does it look a reasonable list?
     
  2. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    2,954
    Location:
    New York, USA
    It all depends on what, for Ned, makes a zoo a "top zoo."
    Wouldn't be my list, I think, except I don't believe in lists of top zoos :p
     
  3. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Apr 2014
    Posts:
    1,332
    Location:
    CT, USA
    I also don't believe in lists of top zoos, lists of good zoos sure, but anything like this is bound to be opinion based and different from person to person. Everyone has their own "top zoos" its foolish to assume that we can quantify this sort of thing.
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 May 2009
    Posts:
    498
    Location:
    South Gloucestershire, UK
    I think perhaps the point of the list is being missed, I compiled the list because I don't have the time or resources to visit a vast number of US zoos so wanted to focus on the best America has to offer. It surprised me that Denver and Omaha's Henry Doorley Zoo appeared in the list so wondered what others thought.
    On the subject of top zoo lists, I think perhaps it's human nature to want to know what's the best, or maybe some people are more predisposed to this than others. you only have to look at sports fans who like to discuss the best footballer or sprinter. It is perhaps foolish to suggest such lists are foolish.
     
  5. jbnbsn99

    jbnbsn99 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    6,254
    Location:
    Texas
    I think it might be good to remember that the book is not 7 years old, with information from a year or so prior to that. Many of the major American zoos have changed quite a lot since then.
     
  6. Ned

    Ned Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 May 2009
    Posts:
    498
    Location:
    South Gloucestershire, UK
    That's a good point, thanks. I wonder if there is any plan for an updated edition?
     
  7. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Jan 2013
    Posts:
    479
    Location:
    Alaska
    Looks a good collection of Zoos. I'd add Miami, Tampa, The Wilds, Sonora Desert, and Living Desert...but then it's more than ten.
     
  8. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    30 Jan 2013
    Posts:
    479
    Location:
    Alaska
    A nice statistical sampling.
     
  9. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Aug 2009
    Posts:
    1,321
    Location:
    North Dakota, USA
    I would put Detroit Zoo on a top ten list. I like Henry Doorly but I would be surprised if it was better than the San Diego Safari Park. Then again, I'm partial to ungulates.
     
  10. azcheetah2

    azcheetah2 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    2 Nov 2011
    Posts:
    565
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    Just because someone made a book of what they believe to be the 10 ten zoos doesn't mean they are, in fact, the top 10. They're only the top 10 according to the person/people who researched and made the book and is based on THEIR opinion. When I plan zoo trips, I look for animals that I am interested in seeing and it doesn't matter how it ranks with some book. Everyone's top 10 would be uniquely different from anyone else and to base a list on what zoos to visit solely on someone else's opinion doesn't make sense to me.