We've never seen ANYTHING like the passion our readers have for their favorite zoo! In an historic 10Best Readers' Choice contest category, zoo enthusiasts voted in record numbers - shattering previous vote tallies by a mile - in pursuit of seeing their hometown zoo land the coveted #1 spot.
Toledo Zoo has taken the top honor, and a very hearty congratulations goes to this amazing zoo, which has obviously won the hearts of its patrons. Fans encouraging each other on Twitter and Facebook obviously worked, and the zoo was very involved in making sure its friends and followers knew of the nomination.
Coming in at a very solid #2 is St. Louis Zoo, which also had legions of loyal fans voting daily, and even up through the final minutes of the contest.
Cincinnati Zoo takes 3rd place honors, followed by #4 Memphis Zoo, and 5th place finisher Columbus Zoo. A special thanks goes out to "Jungle Jack" Hanna, who encouraged animal lovers across the U.S. to vote for the zoo of their choice, despite being long associated with the Columbus Zoo.
The 4th and 5th place finishers ran a tight race, and Omaha's popular Henry Dourly Zoo also ran a successful campaign, landing it in 6th place. It was followed by Houston Zoo, Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, Dallas Zoo and San Diego Zoo & Safari Park.
In a contest where there were so many worthy contenders, we feel compelled to make an exception and note that Oklahoma City Zoo just missed the top 10 by a very small number of votes.
The other nine nominees included Bronx Zoo; Cleveland Metroparks Zoo; Oklahoma City Zoo; Denver Zoo; Disney's Animal Kingdom; Louisville Zoo; Minnesota Zoo; Oregon Zoo; Phoenix Zoo; and Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, S.C
Another historic 10Best Readers' Choice scenario has also occurred within this contest category: three zoos from one state have landed in the top 10 and a fourth secured one of the original 20 nominations. That state is Ohio, home to Toledo Zoo (#1); Cincinnati Zoo (#3) and Columbus Zoo (#5) and nominee Cleveland MetroParks Zoo.
Thanks to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), which provided the data our editorial team used to select the nominees.
The winners in the 'Best US Zoo' contest category for 10Best Readers' Choice are as follows:
- Toledo Zoo - Toledo, Ohio
- St. Louis Zoo - St. Louis
- Cincinnati Zoo - Cincinnati
- Memphis Zoo - Memphis
- Columbus Zoo - Columbus, Ohio
- Henry Doorly Zoo - Omaha
- Houston Zoo - Houston
- Brookfield Zoo - Chicago
- Dallas Zoo - Dallas
- San Diego Zoo & Safari Park - San Diego
Congratulations to all our winners and nominees. And to our readers . . . a big THANK YOU . . . and we'll see you at the zoo!License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo