After the arguments on the "worst exhibits" thread, I thought I'd explore the opposite end of the spectrum: what makes an exhibit great. Here are some criteria that go into making great exhibits. Note: the terms exhibit and enclosure are not synonymous. An enclosure is simply anything that holds an animal. An exhibit is about the presentation. Animal welfare - the exhibit must meet all the animals' needs. This should go without saying. While a good exhibit may have the minimal needs for an animal, a truly great one will exceed expectations in this regard. Landscaping - A truly great exhibit needs to transport the visitor, even if for a moment, to another place - the wild. This is done through the landscaping. Does the exhibit accurately, or close to accurately, recreate the animals' natural habitat. Hide the humans - This is an extension of landscaping. This essentially is how well are the keeper/visitor elements hidden from view. Or conversely, how well are these incorporated into the exhibit. Animal-guest interaction - Is there a connection made between the guest and the animal. This doesn't necessarily mean that the guest physically interacts with the animal, it could mean that the guest creates a meaningful connection to the animal. The connection could be through feeding, keeper talks, seeing interesting behavior, etc. Storytelling - Humans love a good story. This should be incorporated into an exhibit. See this thread for more thoughts on that. Attention to detail - The more details that come out upon closer inspection mean that there's a deeper meaning to the exhibit. It also makes repeat visits all the more enjoyable if not everything can be seen in one go. Uniqueness - Does the exhibit have something that is unique. Is it a cookie-cutter exhibit that can be seen in other zoos? Something that is truly great isn't a repeat of something else. I'm interested to see what other people think makes an exhibit truly great.