America’s Top 9 Animal Attractions

Home & Family,Kids,On the Road,Outdoors,Travel Destinations
March 17, 2011

Have a ‘wild’ time at these zoos and aquariums

An amur tiger at the Philadelphia ZooYun-Zi, one of three giant pandas at San Diego ZooA Victoria crowned pigeon at the Philadelphia ZooEndangered snow leopards, native to Asian mountain ranges, are a star attraction at New York's Bronx Zoo.National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md.Opening day at the Philadelphia Zoo in 1874.Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb.Bronx Zoo in New York CityJacksonville Zoo in Jacksonville, Fla.A polar bear at the San Diego ZooInside the Omaha zoo's famous Desert Dome.A girl puts her hand to the class at the jaguar exhibit at Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens.A grasshopper at the Audubon Nature InstituteA diver feeds a green moray eel in the Caribbean Reef habitat at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.Audubon Nature InstituteJohn G. Shedd Aquarium in ChicagoA Kihansi spray toad at the Bronx ZooAn ivory-billed aracari at the Philadelphia ZooJellyfish swim in a tank at California's Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the few aquariums in the world to have the marine creatures on permanent display.Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans
Courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo
Courtesy of San Diego Zoo
Courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo
Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS
Courtesy of National Aquarium
Courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo
Courtesy of Henry Doorly Zoo
Courtesy of Bronx Zoo
Courtesy of Jacksonville Zoo
Courtesy of San Diego Zoo
Courtesy of Henry Doorly Zoo
Courtesy of Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens
Courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute
Courtesy of John G. Shedd Aquarium
Courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute
Courtesy of John G. Shedd Aquarium
Julie Larsen Maher ©WCS
Courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo
Courtesy of Monterey Bay Aquarium
Courtesy of Audubon Nature Institute
An amur tiger at the Philadelphia Zoo
Yun-Zi, one of three giant pandas at San Diego Zoo
A Victoria crowned pigeon at the Philadelphia Zoo
Endangered snow leopards, native to Asian mountain ranges, are a star attraction at New York's Bronx Zoo.
National Aquarium in Baltimore, Md.
Opening day at the Philadelphia Zoo in 1874.
Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb.
Bronx Zoo in New York City
Jacksonville Zoo in Jacksonville, Fla.
A polar bear at the San Diego Zoo
Inside the Omaha zoo's famous Desert Dome.
A girl puts her hand to the class at the jaguar exhibit at Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens.
A grasshopper at the Audubon Nature Institute
A diver feeds a green moray eel in the Caribbean Reef habitat at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium.
John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago
A Kihansi spray toad at the Bronx Zoo
An ivory-billed aracari at the Philadelphia Zoo
Jellyfish swim in a tank at California's Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the few aquariums in the world to have the marine creatures on permanent display.
Audubon Nature Institute in New Orleans
http://pgoaamericanprofile2.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/audubon-nature-institute-aquarium.jpg

A trip to the zoo or aquarium is truly a “wild” way to spend family time. Where else can you get nose-to-nose with a polar bear, eye-to-eye with a jaguar or watch a family of great apes at play?

Zoos and aquariums have evolved since the days of metal cages and undersized fish tanks. Animal attractions today are fun and educational, replicating natural habitats and offering hands-on creature encounters.

America is home to some of the world’s best animal attractions, including these nine standouts.


Philadelphia Zoo
Philadelphia, Pa.

America’s first zoo was chartered in 1859 in Philadelphia, though the Civil War delayed its opening until 1874.

Today, the 42-acre zoo is home to more than 1,300 animals. Among its animal habitats is the popular Big Cat Falls, named for the waterfall at the exhibit’s heart. Here, visitors get up-close views of endangered felines from around the world, including Amur tigers and a rare black jaguar.

A star exhibit is the McNeil Avian Center, located in the circa-1916 Bird House, where visitors walk among free-flying rare and exotic birds, such as an ivory-billed aracari, native to South America.

The zoo’s historic landmarks include The Solitude, the 1784 country estate of John Penn, grandson of Pennsylvania founder William Penn. The neoclassical-style home is open for tours.

Visit philadelphiazoo.org or call (215) 243-1100.

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