by 10Best Editors for USA TODAY 10Best

These are the 10 best zoos in America

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An expert panel nominated the best North American AZA-accredited zoos – facilities that excel in the fields of animal care and enrichment. 10Best readers then voted for their favorites. Here are the top 10 winners.

Video courtesy of Part Time Genius

10. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens

The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in California's Palm Desert educates visitors on the challenges that desert animals face to survive.

Photo courtesy of Dallas Zoo

9. Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo is the largest zoo in Texas at 106 acres. Founded in 1888, the zoo features 2,000 animals, representing 430 species.

8. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson blends elements of a zoo, botanical garden, art gallery, museum and aquarium into a seamless and unparalleled look at the region’s wildlife.

7. San Diego Zoo

This world-famous zoo, along with its safari park, represents the largest and most diverse zoological collection in the world.

6. Audubon Zoo

Situated in New Orleans, the Audubon Zoo features a spectacular recreation of the Louisiana Swamp — an exhibit linking the region’s Cajun culture with the plants and animals of the surrounding habitats.

5. Brevard Zoo

Brevard Zoo takes the zoo going experience to adventurous levels. Guests can kayak through the African savanna, zip line through the jungles of South America or paddle boat through a restored Florida wetland.

4. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs connects visitors with more than 750 animals representing 170 species from all corners of the globe.

Photo courtesy of Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

3. Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

This zoo hosts the world’s largest indoor desert, and its African Grasslands exhibit features 28 acres of habitats and exhibit spaces for giraffes, elephants, lions, cheetahs and sable antelope.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Curley

2. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

At the Cincinnati Zoo, guests can view hippos underwater (including world-famous hippo Fiona), pop up in a bubble amid meerkats or watch cheetahs racing at top speeds.

Photo courtesy of the Fort Worth Zoo

1. Fort Worth Zoo

Established in 1909, the Fort Worth Zoo is the oldest continuously operated zoo in Texas and is home to more than 540 animal species from around the world.

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