So you love exotic animals, but you don’t want to be an animal trainer or a wildlife rehabilitator. Or even a dog walker. In fact, you would rather just look at exotic animals. So you decide to visit a zoo—but what zoo should you visit? To help guide you, below you will find a list of the top five zoos in the world.

 

  1. Berlin Zoological Garden in Berlin, Germany: The Berlin Zoological Garden is the most visited zoo in Europe and considered one of the most popular zoos in the world. However, there is a reason why the Berlin Zoological Garden is revered internationally. With around 17,000 animals and over 1,500 species, the Berlin Zoological Garden is the most diverse collection of species in the world. This zoo was also home to the world famous polar bear Knut.

 

  1. San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California: If you can’t afford a plane ticket to Germany, consider visiting the San Diego Zoo. The zoo hosts 4,000 rare and endangered animals plus more than 700,000 exotic plants. In addition to a traditional zoo, the San Diego Zoo also maintains a wildlife sanctuary called the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Located in the San Pasqual Valley near Escondido, California, visitors can see giraffes, rhinos and other animals roaming in an open air environment. Considered one of the most progressive zoos in the world, the San Diego Zoo also includes the Institute for Conservation Research, one of the largest zoo based research centers in the world.

 

  1. Smithsonian National Zoological Park in Washington, DC: If you can’t afford a ticket to the San Diego Zoo or would prefer to visit a zoo on the east coast, consider visiting the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Because this zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institution, it does not charge for admission. If you visit the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, make sure to visit two of the zoo’s best-known residents—giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang.

 

  1. Tiergarten Schonnbrunn Zoo, Vienna, Austria: The Tiergarten Schonnbrunn (Vienna Zoo) is the oldest zoo in the world. The zoo was originally built in 1752 as an imperial menagerie for Emperor Francis Stephen of Lorraine. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a unique zoo with hundreds of years of important history. If you want to visit a zoo while also visiting one of the most architecturally fascinating sites in Austria, do not pass up a visit to the Vienna Zoo.

 

  1. Singapore Zoo in Singapore: Built in 1973, the Singapore Zoo is one of the most modern zoos in the world. The Singapore zoo displays animals in an open, naturalistic setting with hidden barriers and moats between the animals and the public. The zoo is also famous for its conservation and breeding programs. The Wildlife Healthcare and Research Centre was established in March of 2006 to help aid these efforts. If you want to visit a zoo that is on the cutting edge of exhibits and research, journey to Singapore.

Most of us love playing with animals, whether it’s your pet or some friendly animal that you meet by chance. However, maintaining pet’s health and well-being takes work and on occasion expert knowledge from a veterinary professional. A veterinary technician may not only work in a clinic but may also work with animals in a zoo, park or wildlife preserve, animal shelter or with animal research.

Author byline:

Jessica Reedy is a journalism student currently working as an intern for National Public Radio in Washington, D.C.

 

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