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Best Zoo Exhibit (2021)

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A great zoo exhibit engages visitors with the animals they're observing while keeping the welfare and enrichment of its animal residents front and center.

  • Asian Highlands

    Asian Highlands
    Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

    The Asian Highlands exhibit at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo begins with visitors entering beneath a replica Himalayan ruin and then traveling along a footpath that takes them through "the southern foothills of the Himalayans."  Along their journey, visitors will observe Indian rhinos, sloth bears, red pandas, snow leopards and much more.
    Photo courtesy of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

  • Tiger Crossroads

    Tiger Crossroads
    Nashville Zoo

    The Nashville Zoo's Tiger Crossroads is home to Sumatran tigers, natives of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. This exhibit introduces visitors to the critically endangered tigers and serves to educate the public on the need for increased tiger conservation efforts. Take in these majestic creatures from the outdoor viewing bridge or from within the viewing building, which offers an up close and personal view of the tigers through reinforced glass panels. 
    Photo courtesy of Byron Jorjorian / Nashville Zoo

  • Rocky Mountain Wild

    Rocky Mountain Wild
    Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

    Colorado wildlife is front and center at this exhibit at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. The 3-acre exhibit is home to moose wandering amid pine woods with their own small lake, mountain lions in a naturalistic rock canyon, the elusive Canada lynx, river otters playing in a waterfall and grizzly bears roaming the mountainside.
    Photo courtesy of Keri D // Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

  • Museum of Living Art

    Museum of Living Art
    Fort Worth Zoo

    Established in 1909, the Fort Worth Zoo is the oldest continuously operated zoo in Texas and home to more than 540 animal species from around the world. More than 100 of those species are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan, and 68 are endangered or threatened. Not to be missed on a visit is the award-winning Museum of Living Art, a 30,000-square-foot, indoor-outdoor facility that houses more than 250 amphibian and reptile species. 
    Photo courtesy of Fort Worth Zoo

  • Devereaux Tiger Forest

    Devereaux Tiger Forest
    Detroit Zoo

    This exhibit at the Detroit Zoo provides a home to three endangered Amur tigers, Nikolai, Aleksei and Kisa. The enclosure features naturalistic elements you might find in the tigers’ natural environment, including elevated vantage points, wooded areas, pools, open spaces, a cave and a waterfall.
    Photo courtesy of Patti Truesdale // Detroit Zoo

  • Simmons Hippo Outpost

    Simmons Hippo Outpost
    Dallas Zoo

    The 2.1-acre Simmons Hippo Outpost, an expansion of the already incredible Africa experience at the Dallas Zoo, features a replicated African waterhole habitat with a 120,000-gallon pool and a large underwater viewing window, offering guests an up close look at the zoo’s Nile hippos. Above the water, the hippos share their home with an okapi herd.
    Photo courtesy of Dallas Zoo

  • Boyd Family Asian Trek

    Boyd Family Asian Trek
    Zoo Knoxville

    Zoo Knoxville’s Boyd Family Asian Trek "bridges the gap between curiosity and conservation."  This beloved exhibit is home to Malayan tigers, white-naped cranes, silvered leaf langurs and white-handed gibbons. Guests can observe these species while climbing a multi-level tree house or walking across a swinging suspension bridge.
    Photo courtesy of Amy Smotherman Burgess // Zoo Knoxville

  • Land of the Tiger

    Land of the Tiger
    Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

    The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, which occupies more than 115 acres, is home to more than 2,000 animals from around the globe and 1,000 plants. While visiting, be sure to check out the beloved Land of the Tigers area. Land of the Tigers provides a home for Malayan and Sumatran tigers, free to roam through the Asia Loop on a series of trails. Guests can see these animals from almost any angle while enjoying the 2.5-acre exhibit.
    Photo courtesy of Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens

  • Walkabout Australia

    Walkabout Australia
    San Diego Zoo Safari Park

    Walkabout Australia, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, invites visitors to follow a shaded backcountry road Down Under to stroll amid kangaroos, wallabies, cassowaries and magpie geese. A traditional shed offers guests a spot to cool down and learn about how wool is processed. Make sure you keep an eye out for the platypus. It's the only place outside Australia where you can see one. 
    Photo courtesy of Goddard_Photography / Getty

  • California Trail

    California Trail
    Oakland Zoo

    The California Traill at the Oakland Zoo invites visitors to investigate the role humans have played in shaping the ecology of the San Francisco Bay Area. This popular exhibit "highlights the delicate balance between plants, animals, and humans, and the impact of change on all three." While exploring the California Trail, keep an eye out for American bison, black bears, California condors, eagles, mountain lions, gray wolves, grizzly bears and jaguars.
    Photo courtesy of Oakland Zoo

The top 10 winners in the category Best Zoo Exhibit are as follows:

  1. Asian Highlands - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
  2. Tiger Crossroads - Nashville Zoo
  3. Rocky Mountain Wild - Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
  4. Museum of Living Art - Fort Worth Zoo
  5. Devereaux Tiger Forest - Detroit Zoo
  6. Simmons Hippo Outpost - Dallas Zoo
  7. Boyd Family Asian Trek - Zoo Knoxville
  8. Land of the Tiger - Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
  9. Walkabout Australia - San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  10. California Trail - Oakland Zoo

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning exhibits!

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AlertThe Experts

Debra Erickson

Debra Erickson

Debra Erickson

Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor

Rob Taylor

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy

Nicky Omohundro

Nicky Omohundro

Nicky Omohundro

Alan Sironen

Alan Sironen

Alan Sironen

Allison Taylor

Allison Taylor

Allison Taylor
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