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Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha is the Largest Zoo in the World

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Each year on April 8, National Zoo Lovers Day is observed.  This would be a perfect day to visit a zoo and be one of the millions of people who visit them each year. Enjoy seeing your favorite animals swinging from the trees or splashing in the water and have a fun-filled day.

  • The Vienna Zoo is the oldest existing zoo and was opened to the public in 1765.
  • The United State’s first public zoo, Central Park Zoo, opened in 1874 in New York.
  • There are 350 zoos in the United States
  • Disney’s Animal Kingdom has had more than 9.8 million annual visitors.
  • More than 3.2 million people visit the San Diego Zoo each year.
  • It has been estimated by WAZA that over 600 million people visit zoos each year. This is almost certainly an understatement
  • It is estimated that there are more than 2,800 zoos & aquariums in the world.
  • Germany has 414 registered zoos and the most in any single country.
  • 29 zoos & aquariums in the USA have more than 1,000,000 visitors a year.
  • Busch Gardens Tampa Bay has the most with about 4,500,000 visitors.
  • The oldest running zoo in the world is Vienna Zoo in Schonbrunn which dates from 1752.
  • Philadelphia Zoo was opened on July 1st, 1874 and is said to be the oldest zoo in the USA.
  • Berlin Zoo, Germany, with over 1.500 species has the largest number of species in any zoo in the world.
  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium has about 124.000 individual animals and the largest number of animals in any zoo in the world.
  • The largest zoo in the US is Red McCombs Wildlife (Texas) with over 12.500 acres.
  • 21 % of all known mammals are threatened with extinction
  • 30% of all known amphibians are threatened with extinction
  • 12% of all known birds are threatened with extinction
  • 28% of all known reptiles are threatened with extinction
  • 37% of all known fresh water fish are threatened with extinction
  • 35% of all known invertebrates are threatened with extinction
  • An orangutan named Fu Manchu repeatedly escaped from his cage at the zoo using a key he had fashioned from a piece of wire. Every time his zookeepers inspected him, he hid the key in his mouth. – Source
  • A bear cub named Winnipeg was exported from Canada to the London Zoo in 1915. A little boy named Christopher Robin Milne loved to visit Winnipeg (or Winnie for short) and his love for the bear cub inspired the stories written by his father, A.A. Milne, about Winnie-the-Pooh. – Source
  • China retains ownership of all the giant pandas around the world, which are selectively loaned to other countries. The fee for a pair is usually $1 million a year, with funds going toward conservation efforts in China. Rentals typically last for 10 years, with a renewal option. – Source
  • Chendra, an Asian elephant at the Oregon Zoo, likes to take morning walks with her handlers and meet other animals. The sea lions are her favorite. – Source
  • 8th largest zoo in the world: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a non-profit zoo located just north of Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus Zoo is home to over 5,000 animals representing over 700 species divided into geographic regions of the world.
  • 7th largest zoo in the world: Open for visitors since 1864, the Moscow Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in Europe. Today, the Moscow Zoo has over 6000 animals representing 927 species and covers an area of about 53 acres (21.5 ha) making it Russia’s largest zoo.
  • 6th largest zoo in the world: The San Diego Zoo is one of the most famous zoos in the world with over 4,000 animals of more than 800 species.
  • 5th largest zoo in the world: Located in Toronto and encompassing 710 acres (287 ha), the Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in Canada. The zoo is currently home to over 16,000 animals representing over 491 species.
  • 4th largest zoo in the world: Opened in 1899, the Bronx Zoo in New York City is the biggest metropolitan zoo in the United States, comprising 265 acres (107 ha) of park lands and naturalistic habitats. The zoo is home to more than 4,000 animals of 650 species, many of which are endangered.
  • 3rd largest zoo in the world: Founded in 1906 during the late Qing Dynasty, the Beijing Zoo has one of the largest animal collections in China. The zoo is home to 14,500 animals representing over 450 species of land animals and over 500 species of marine animals.
  • 2nd largest zoo in the world: Opened in 1844 the Berlin Zoological Garden (Zoologischer Garten Berlin) is the oldest and best known zoo in Germany. It covers 84 acres (34 ha) and is located in Berlin’s Tiergarten. With more than 1,500 different species and around 17,000 animals the zoo presents the largest collection of species in the world.
  • The largest zoo in the world: Nebraska’s number one paid attendance attraction, the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha is home to about 17,000 animals of 962 species. It encompasses over 130 acres (53 ha) of land area. Although there are bigger zoos in terms of acreage or species numbers, none rank as high as the Henry Doorly Zoo if both these categories are combined. For this reason it is listed here as the largest zoo in the world. It also features the largest cat complex in North America, the world’s largest indoor swamp, the world’s largest indoor desert, as well as the largest glazed geodesic dome in the world.


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