Warmer weather makes spring the perfect season for going to the zoo, and USA TODAY 10Best went on a quest to find the best single exhibit in the nation. After four weeks of voting, we have a winner!
It was a well-fought race battle between the top two zoo exhibits, and the finish was as close as can be. In the end Philadelphia Zoo's innovative Big Cat Crossing took home top honors. This exhibit, which debuted in spring 2014, features a 330-foot mesh pathway extending above the main visitor path, so lucky visitors might get to see a tiger strolling over their heads.
Runner-up for Best Zoo Exhibit was Detroit Zoo's Arctic Ring of Life, the largest polar bear exhibit in North America, where zoo goers can see polar bears and sea lions swim above and around them.
The top 10 winners in the category Best Zoo Exhibit are as follows:
- Big Cat Crossing - Philadelphia Zoo
- Arctic Ring of Life - Detroit Zoo
- Giants of the Savanna - Dallas Zoo
- Museum of Living Art - Fort Worth Zoo
- Russia’s Grizzly Coast - Minnesota Zoo
- Sea Lion Sound - St. Louis Zoo
- Congo Gorilla Forest - Bronx Zoo
- Desert Loop Trail - Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
- African Elephant Crossing-Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
- Animal Care Center - Busch Gardens Tampa
Additional nominated exhibits included Elephant Odyssey at the San Diego Zoo, Benson Predator Ridge at the Denver Zoo, Monkey Village at the Phoenix Zoo, World of the Insect at the Cincinnati Zoo, African Plains at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Desert Dome/Kingdoms of the Night at the Henry Doorly Zoo, Polar Frontier at the Columbus Zoo, The O Line at the Smithsonian's National Zoo, Discovery Tram Tour at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom in Orlando.
A panel of experts picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Debra Erickson (International Zoo Educators Association) and Alan Sironen (Zoological Association of America) were chosen based on their extensive expertise.
10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners. The contest was promoted on 10Best and USA TODAY.License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo