The Best Zoo in Texas
What’s the best zoo in Texas? You might be surprised at the answer.
There are so many places to explore in Texas. However, when it comes to entertaining the whole family, visiting a zoo is one of your best options.
As Texans, we are truly blessed because some of the best zoos in the entire nation are right here in our own backyard. There are many zoos to choose from in Texas, but which one is the, “Best zoo in Texas?”
The best zoo in Texas is absolutely the Fort Worth Zoo.
With over 6,000 animals and 540 species, it’s no wonder that the Fort Worth Zoo has received so much praise over the years.
In fact, USA Today ranked the Fort Worth Zoo as the best zoo in the country. Yahoo travel agreed as they rated it the best zoo in Texas.
The Fort Worth zoo has never ceased to amaze those who visit, but this year they have really outdone themselves. There are many new attractions that allow you to interact with the animals like never before.
The Humble Beginnings of the Best Zoo in Texas
The Fort Worth zoo first opened in 1909. In the beginning, it had a peacock, a coyote, rabbits, 2 bear cubs, an alligator, and a lion from Africa.
Fort Worth owned and operated the best zoo in Texas up until 1991. The Fort Worth Zoological Society was formed in 1939 to help the zoo raise money to buy more animals.
The zoo was then taken over by the Fort Worth Zoological association in 1991.
As the ‘90s went on, many new exhibits opened, including:
- Insect City
- A cheetah exhibit
- Asian Rhino Ridge
- A Komodo Dragon Exhibit
- Flamingo Bay Meerkat Mounds
- Raptor Canyon
The Fort Worth Zoo hasn’t slowed down and is doing more today than ever before.
A $100-million capital campaign called “A Wilder Vision” was announced in 2016. This would take the best zoo in Texas to the next level.
“A Wilder Vision,” would include the following: renovated habitats, spaces for events, and dining areas. However the big additions will be exhibits that change and enhance how visitors and animals interact.
There are more species that will be introduced to the zoo through the next few years. It’s no wonder the Fort Worth Zoo is the best zoo in Texas!
Now that you’ve learned a little bit about the history of the Fort Worth Zoo, let’s take a look at some of it’s best attractions.
During the Spring of 2021, a new exhibit was unveiled: Elephant Springs. Here you can get an extremely close look at these majestic animals.
We all know that everything is bigger in Texas, and the best zoo in Texas doesn’t disappoint. The elephants have an extremely large area for their habitat. It’s actually 3 times as large as the previous elephant exhibit.
This isn’t your regular old elephant exhibit. You actually get to interact with the elephants!
Elephants love to splash around in the water and play. That’s why there are waterfalls and pools all over their habitat.
Along the observation deck, you will find water cannons that gently spray the elephants. As an extra bonus, there is an area where you can actually observe zookeepers training the elephants.
Leave it to the best zoo in Texas to create an exhibit for some of our friends from the sea.
In the Spring of 2019, Stingray Cove was opened. Sting Rays are some of the most amazing fish in the world, belonging to the group called Elasmobranchs.
They are actually closely related to sharks. Their bodies don’t have any bones as their skeletons are made up of cartilage.
But Stingray Cove is more than just learning facts about stingrays — it’s about getting up close and personal with these unique creatures. You can buy small fish and enjoy the surreal experience of feeding them to the stingrays.
The African Savanna
The African Savanna is one the most exciting spots at the best zoo in Texas. However, make sure you have money for tons of lettuce for feeding the giraffes.
The giraffes hang out in a pavilion just tall enough for them to get their heads over to you to eat some lettuce.
A lettuce leaf goes for $6.
That may seem like a lot, but when you feed these gentle giants, you’ll know that it was worth every single dollar.
The Texas Wild Critters
After your trip to Africa, you may find it nice to land back on Texas soil. The best zoo in Texas has got a real treat for you: an area dedicated to Texas born critters.
You’ll see all sorts of animals, such as bears, jaguars, mountain lions, bats, otters, prairie dogs, and more. It’s hard to believe that all these animals are native to the Lone Star State!
That’s not all though as there’s an underground tunnel where you’ll get to hang with naked mole rats and rattlesnakes.
Also, though they might not quite be native to Texas, you can enjoy interacting with sea urchins, starfish, and horseshoe crabs.
This is what makes the Fort Worth Zoo one of the most unique zoos in Texas (and in the US) — it has tons of aquatic wildlife that you would usually only see at an aquarium.
I mean come on Texans! This part alone is enough to qualify the Fort Worth Zoo as the best zoo in Texas.
Hunters of African and Asian Predators
During your visit you might say, “hey, where are all the zebras, hyenas, lions, and tigers?”
Don’t worry — they are off exhibit right now for a good reason! The Hunters of African and Asian Predators is getting prepared for it’s reopening in 2023.
This is better for the animals as these wild cats will get more room than ever before and get to enjoy waterfalls and pools.
The best zoo in Texas also has made it clear that, just like Elephant Springs, this exhibit will be more interactive and fun for visitors and animals alike.
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