8 Biggest Zoos in the United States

Most of us have always been excited to see the beautiful and fierce animals we cohabitate with on this planet. However, no matter how fascinated we are to learn about them, it is not always possible to go out and see the wild animals in their natural habitats. And this is why we have zoos as they provide us the opportunities to view the animals and plants from various parts of the world in a single short trip. The United States has numerous zoos spread throughout the country, however, in this article, our focus is on the 8 biggest zoos based on the area in the country.

  1. Los Angeles Zoo
    Location: California
    Area: 133 acres
    Date Opened: 1966
    No. of animals‎: ‎2,200
    No. of species‎: 270
    Sights to See: Muriel’s Ranch, Rainforest of the Americas

    The Los Angeles Zoo is specifically concerned about the preservation of wild animals and their habitats. The LA Zoo has introduced several programs to facilitate the visitors to appreciate and revere the animals we shared the planet with and educate them about conservation.

    Did You Know?

    • In 1970, an African Black Rhinoceros, Twinkletoes birthed a baby Rhino in the LA Zoo.
Los Angeles Zoo. photo source:
  1. Smithsonian National Zoological Park
    Location: Washington D.C.
    Area: 163 acres
    Date Opened: 1889
    No. of animals‎: ‎2,700
    No. of species‎: 390
    Sights to See: The Lemur Island and The Great Ape House

    The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is not only one of the biggest zoos, but it is also one of the oldest zoos in the US. It is a project of the Smithsonian Institution and aims to educate visitors on the significance of the conservation of animals and their habitats. It’s among Washington’s most common tourist sights, opened all around the year with no admission fees.

    Did You Know?

    • About one-fifth of the species living in the zoo are either endangered or threatened, hence, the zoo pays extra focus on the conservation and education efforts.
Smithsonian Zoo. photo source:
  1. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden
    Location: South Carolina
    Area: 170 acres
    Date Opened: 1974
    No. of animals‎: ‎2,000
    No. of species‎: 350
    Sights to See: Kangaroo Walkabout and Botanical Garden

    The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden has more than 2000 animals and is among the top botanical gardens of the nation. The Botanical Garden contains a children’s garden that helps children in exploring and take part in a dinosaur bone dig.

    Did You Know?

    • The Riverbanks Zoo and Garden was an enthusiastic participant of the Go Green movement, and incorporated solar power, litter pick-ups, and conservation of water drives.
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. photo source:
  1. Brookfield Zoo
    Location: Chicago
    Area: 215 acres
    Date Opened: 1934
    No. of animals‎: ‎2,300
    No. of species‎: 450
    Sights to See: Motor Safari and Seven Seas Exhibit

    This zoo houses more than 450 species of animals and ensures their welfare. It is famous for its open-air animal enclosures and focuses on educating visitors on the significance of natural ecosystems.

    Did You Know?

    • Brookfield Zoo fascinated the visitors by offering the first fully indoor dolphin display, and the first fully indoor simulation rainforest.
Brookfield Zoo. photo source:
  1. Bronx Zoo
    Location: New York
    Area: 265 acres
    Date Opened: 1899
    No. of animals‎: ‎6,000
    No. of species‎: 700
    Sights to See: Jungle world and Congo Gorilla Forest

    It is home to six thousand animals. The zoo is open year-round and allows people to see the animals in all seasons. The zoo supports wildlife conservation programs around the world.

    Did You Know?

    • Thylacines or the Tasmanian Tigers were once found here, although the specimens perished, causing people to believe the species may have become extinct.
Bronx Zoo. photo source:
  1. Minnesota Zoo
    Location: Minnesota
    Area: 485 acres
    Date Opened: 1978
    No. of animals‎: ‎4,500
    No. of species‎: 505
    Sights to See: Medtronic Minnesota Trail

    More than four thousand animals are living in the Minnesota Zoo. The zoo provides several opportunities to view the animals up close.

    Did You Know?

    • Minnesota Trail takes the guests on a beautiful journey to view animals native to the state. This helps the visitors to appreciate local wildlife from a close-up view.
Minnesota Zoo. photo source:
  1. Disney’s Animal Kingdom
    Location: Florida
    Area: 580 acres
    Date Opened: 1998
    No. of animals‎: ‎2,000
    No. of species‎: 300
    Sights to See: Dinoland and Discovery Island

    Disney’s Animal Kingdom provides a unique contrast and harmony between a zoo and the thrilling theme park shows and rides. It is home to several animal species which were kept on display when the park was designed, making sure that the rides and shows don’t disturb the animals.

    Did You Know?

    • It is an environmentally friendly park as they implement measures like only paper straws and lids and the use of biodegradable balloons.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom. photo source:
  1. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
    Location: Ohio
    Area: 580 acres
    Date Opened: 1927
    No. of animals‎: ‎7,000
    No. of species‎: 800
    Sights to See: Congo Expedition and Dinosaur Island Boat Ride

    The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is the biggest in the United States. The zoo is home to more than seven thousand animals with eight hundred species, making it the best zoo experience ever. It offers the opportunity of summer camps for children and programs for guests of all age groups to learn about the animals.

    Did You Know?

    • Colo, the world’s first zoo-born gorilla, was born in 1956 at the Columbus Zoo. Colo is the world’s oldest gorilla in human care, having died in 2017 at the age of 60.
    • The zoo has a special conservation effort for endangered species like the African leopard, African grey parrot, and the Black Rattlesnake.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. photo source:

Written by James

James has always been intrigued by dinosaurs, the universe, technology, and animals. With a Bachelor of Computer Science and years of writing expertise, he joined World Amazing Facts in 2021 as a staff writer.

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