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Best Zoo Exhibit (2022)

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A great zoo exhibit engages visitors with the animals they're observing while keeping the well-being and protection of its animals 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

  • 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 a moose wandering amid pine woods with his 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

  • Lied Jungle

    Lied Jungle
    Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

    Guests at Omaha’s Henry Doorly’s Zoo can feel the tropical environment of rainforest as they walk through the Lied Jungle, America’s largest indoor rainforest. Squirrel monkeys, pigmy hippos, and macaws are a few of the many animals you will encounter as you travel along an elevated walkway and cross a suspension bridge to view the jungle below, then down to the forest floor where trees and waterfalls tower overhead. The exhibit, which opened in 1992, showcases rainforests from South America, Africa, and Asia.
    Photo courtesy of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

  • Animal Care Center

    Animal Care Center
    Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

    While Busch Gardens is most famously known as an amusement park filled with thrill rides, the Tampa location is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and offers abundant animal encounters as well. Not just home to the hit TV series, The Wildlife Docs®, The Animal Care Center at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay allows visitors to observe and even participate in the animal care experience, from "nutrition to treatments, X-rays to surgeries."
    Photo courtesy of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

  • 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

  • Toyota Elephant Passage

    Toyota Elephant Passage
    Denver Zoo

    Denver Zoo hosts one of the most complex and most extensive elephant habitats in North America, with three distinct sections, each reflecting a different area of tropical Asia. The Toyota Elephant Passage offers ten acres of varied terrain and a unique multiple-species habitat where various animals roam with shade structures, swimming and bathing water, and mud wallows in abundance. Guests can travel the two miles of interconnected trails and explore an animal preserve, and Asian urban center, and an Asian rural village, learning about the significance of animals in Asian culture and their relationship with humans.
    Photo courtesy of Denver Zoo

  • California Trail

    California Trail
    Oakland Zoo

    The California Trail 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 Steve Goodall

  • 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

  • Maniac the Giant Crocodile

    Maniac the Giant Crocodile
    Reptile Gardens

    Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, South Dakota, hosts Maniac, an Australian male saltwater crocodile born in captivity in 1970. At his last measurement, he was 16 feet 2 inches long and weighed roughly 1,350 pounds! Maniac could live as old as 100 and has beautiful large armored scales across his back. You can only imagine what his appetite is! 10Best Travel Expert Kyle McCarthy tells us, “It’s fun to watch keepers feed the giant crocodile.”
    Photo courtesy of Joe Maierhauser

  • Devereaux Tiger Forest

    Devereaux Tiger Forest
    Detroit Zoo

    This exhibit at the Detroit Zoo provides a home to three endangered Amur tigers: Nikolai, Ameliya, 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 Roy Lewis

  1. Asian Highlands - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
  2. Rocky Mountain Wild - Cheyenne Mountain Zoo
  3. Lied Jungle - Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo
  4. Animal Care Center - Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
  5. Land of the Tiger - Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
  6. Toyota Elephant Passage - Denver Zoo
  7. California Trail - Oakland Zoo
  8. Boyd Family Asian Trek - Zoo Knoxville
  9. Maniac the Giant Crocodile - Reptile Gardens
  10. Devereaux Tiger Forest - Detroit 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 zoo exhibits!

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AlertThe Experts

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

10Best Editors

Debra Erickson

Debra Erickson

Debra Erickson

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy
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