• Nikhila Jain

Six Must Visit Zoos with Rare Animals

Updated: May 4

Are you fascinated by wildlife? Like us, these animals are also unique, and they live in their natural habitat. Apart from other hazardous activities, humans have also contributed to the disturbance in the natural habitat of these fascinating creatures. This disturbance has led to the extinction of a few and have endangered existence of many. Many zoos around the world are contributing to the conservation of these rare animals.

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Let’s start our virtual tour of these six fascinating zoos around the world that are petting few rare animals.

Calgary Zoo, Canada

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Calgary Zoo, operated by a non-profit society, a home to around 1000 animals belonging to 119 species. The zoo is passionate about wildlife conservation. It runs many conservation programs like Whooping Crane, Swift Fox Conservation Program, Vancouver Island Marmot and many more.

The zoo is also home to some rare animals like African Lions, Vancouver Island Marmot, Northern Leopard frog and more. It contributes towards the increase of wild population of Vancouver Island marmots. It is one of the three facilities that help in the breeding of marmots.

Some of the famous exhibits are Land of Lemurs, Canadian wilds, Penguin plunge and Destination Africa. Their spectacular event Zoolights would take your breath away. The whole zoo transforms into a winter wonderland with lights sparkling from every corner. The melodious music, warm fire pits and fun activities add to the mystic environment and take you on a journey of mesmerising moments.

In June 2019, the zoo welcomed two female African lionesses to the pride, Mali and Sabi. The ferocious yet beautiful African lion’s world population has decreased by 50% in the last 20 years, and Calgary zoo plays a fundamental role in species conservation. Destination Africa exhibit gives the visitors a chance to take a glimpse of these magnificent animals.

Chester Zoo - England

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Chester Zoo, a number one charity zoo, is home to 21,000 animals belonging to 500 different species. The zoo also pets some of the most endangered species and is actively a part of their conservation. It plays a vital role in the conserving Okapi, an endangered species. The most complicated part of Okapi’s lifecycle is the long pregnancy that lasts for 450 days.

The zoo offers many animal exhibits like Elephants of Asian Forests, Spirits of Jaguar, Realm of Red Ape, Secret World of Okapi, Giant otters and Penguins, Mongoose Mania and many more. The mesmerising world of these beautiful animals will keep your day busy and fun-filled.

The zoo welcomed newborns:

  • Twin Pygmy Marmosets: The proud parents Zoe and Baldrick of twin marmosets. The tiny babies weighed just about 10 grams and were about two inches long. The twins reside at miniature monkey’s exhibit a must-visit stop.

  • Baby Rhino: The carefully monitored breeding program for eastern black rhinos bore the fruits of success when Ema Elsa, delivered the female baby rhino. A new addition to the black rhino plays a vital role in the long run for the conservation of a critically endangered species. Check the baby rhino taking steps at the zoo’s black rhinoceros exhibit.

Melbourne Zoo, Australia

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Melbourne Zoo provides a unique experience for not just the citizens but attracts visitors from all around the world. The zoo funded by Zoos Victoria, a world-leading zoo-based conservation organisation. The zoo is not only home to 320 species but is also plays a vital role in wildlife conservation. The zoo focuses on local threatened species as well as global conservation. It is also a part of International conservation of snow leopards.

There are several animal exhibits like Trails of Elephant, Orangutan Sanctuary, Butterfly house, Lion Gorge, Wild Sea and more that would keep you busy.

New Members and Breakthroughs in Animal Conservation:

  • Baby Leopards: The three newborn baby leopards to the first time mother Miska and proud father Kang-Ju. You can see these snowy babies at the Lion Gorge.

  • Spider Monkey: The birth of baby spider monkey paid off the Zoo’s efforts for conservation of Spider monkey. The tiny-black handed Spider monkey born to mum Isobella. He became the sixth member of Black-handed Spider Monkey troop.

  • Eleven-year-old Luk-Chai first-ever Asiatic Elephant calf born in Australia became the first new citizen of Melbourne Zoo. He became a proud member of Trails of Elephant. A light of ray for the rare Asiatic Elephant conservation program.

  • Fifty critically endangered victorian frog species bred in captivity released successfully in wild.

San Diego Zoo, California

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San Diego Zoo is a part of San Diego global a not-for-profit organisation. It is home to more than 3500 rare and endangered animals belonging to more than 650 species and sub-species. It became the first zoo to promote the concept to open-air, cageless exhibits that re-created the natural habitats for the animals. It is one among the few to successfully bred the giant pandas.

There are many exhibits to choose from; Monkey Trails and Forest Tales, Owens Aviary, Scripps Aviary, Panda Canyon, Urban Jungle, Polar Bear Plunge, Elephant Odyssey, Gorilla Tropics, Tiger Trail and more.

Some notable breakthrough in medical sciences for conservation of critically endangered and threatened species, San Diego zoo, a proud contributor:

  • August 2020 - In August 2020, the zoo contributed to the cloning of the first Przewalski horse. It had preserved the DNA for 40 years.

  • Koalas reintroduced to their natural habitat after a Bushfire.

  • Two burrowing owls released successfully to their natural habitat. A noteworthy milestone met in the conservation of burrowing owls.

  • Amur Leopards endangered species are safe and flourishing in their natural habitat at the zoo. They reside at African Rocks and Asian Passage.

  • Lemur, an endangered species, found only in Madagascar and the nearby the Comoro Islands are preserved at Africa Rocks.

  • Pygmy hippo born at the zoo to a four year Mabel became the first pygmy hippo birth at the zoo. The hippos located at Lost forest exhibit.

Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago

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Lincoln Park Zoo a privately managed, non-profit and free to visitors. The zoo is home to about 1,100 animals contributing to 200 species. It offers one of the extensive zoo-based conservation and science programs in the country.

The various exhibits at the zoo are Walter Family Arctic Tundra, Regenstein Macaque Forest, Regenstein African Journey, Kovler Seal Pool, Helen Brach Primate House, McCormick Bird House and more.

The zoo saw the arrival of not just one or two but more than a bunch. It celebrated the recent arrivals of newborns from wolf pups to gorilla babies and a rhino calf.

  • Baby Gorilla: On the mother’s day this year, a mother wouldn’t have asked for more, Rollie gave birth to a male gorilla. The mother and baby located at Regenstein Center of African Apes.

  • Baby pups: The critically endangered red wolf litter has two males and two females. The family resides at Pritzker Family Children’s Zoo.

  • Big Arrival: The critically endangered Black Rhino species got a new addition when mother Kapuki gave birth to the calf. Mother and baby located at Regenstein African Journey exhibit.

Zoo LeipZig, Germany

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LeipZig Zoo, home to approximately 850 species, famously referred as “Zoo of Future”. It has received international recognition for its large building projects; Pongoland, Gondwanaland.

The zoo offers six theme worlds. One can start the trail from Founder’s Garden, pass through the Gondwanaland, Asia, Pongoland, Africa and end the journey at America.

  • Founder’s Garden is a place to view some deadly reptiles.

  • Gondwanaland features tropical forests of Africa, Asia and South America.

  • Asia theme world takes you on a journey of the Himalayas where Anoas and Przewalski’s horses roam freely, tiger's prowl through the Taiga and birds fly.

  • Pongoland a land of Apes where a variety of endangered Ape species like chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans exists.

  • Africa, as the name suggests it takes you to the mesmerising views of Savannah. The zebras, giraffes, ostriches and others live here harmoniously. It also has a big cat enclosure.

  • America, an Aviary world, treat yourself with picturesque views of various bird species. The most visited spot is Flamingo Lagoon which hosts a varied number of endangered bird species too.

These fascinating zoos are not only contributing to the conservation of endangered species but are providing natural habitat to animals. Some of the endangered species are extinct in wild yet adore these species in their natural habitat and treasure memorable moments.