With every passing day in climate issues, our biodiversity is deteriorating. Now, as individuals, we cannot do much, but the non-profit organization we know as zoos can make a tremendous difference. 

Although zoos have a few pros and cons, almost all zoos provide the species with proper accommodation, meals, and vigilant protection. Under the jurisdiction of the zoos, the species are known to thrive. Below is the list of the ten largest zoos in the world.

The list encompasses the land area and the species present, number of animals present, rate and review of public and magazines, and facilities provided to visitors.

Table of Contents

10. ZSL London zoo

ZSL London Zoo
ZSL London Zoo, UK| Image via Pinterest
LocationUnited Kingdom 
Area36 acres 
Number of species673 (as of 2018)
Opening dateApril 27, 1828

The London Zoo was established on April 27, 1828. It is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. Initially, the zoo was open for research only but was later opened to the public in 1847.

With 673 species, It has one of the largest collections of animals. It is home to over nineteen thousand animals and covers an area of 36 acres. 

The zoo is often referred to as the regent’s zoo as it is situated at the northern edge of the regent’s park. The zoological society of London handles the zoo. 

The zoo opened its first reptile house, first public aquarium, first insect house, and the first children’s zoo in 1849, 1853, 1881, and 1938.

In 2019, around one million people visited the zoo. The zoo doesn’t receive any funding from the government; thus, the primary source of its budget is visitors’ entrance fees. 

The zoo also relies on fellows and friends membership and sponsorship to generate income. 

9. Moscow zoo

Moscow zoo
Moscow Zoo, Russia| Photo from Ring Road Hotel
LocationMoscow, Russia 
Area53 acres 
Number of species1267 (as of 2019)
Opening dateJanuary 31, 1864

The zoo is located in Moscow, Russia. Initially, a professor-biologist from Moscow state university opened the zoo on January 31, 1864, but in 1922, the government took ownership of the zoo. 

In 1919, the zoo was nationalized. The zoo occupied an area of 53 acres with 286 animals during its establishment.

The zoo’s architecture was wooden old Russian style with intricate wood trims. The zoo was renovated in 1990.  

Accommodating over seven thousand five hundred animals, now the zoo has a diverse species of one thousand two hundred sixty-seven and occupies fifty-three acres. 

Around four million people visit this zoo annually. The main entrance was built in a large rock castle during the renovation. The addition of waterfalls and steam added a natural feeling to the zoo.

The zoo also researches animals’ behavior, feeding and reproduction, and endangered species.

8. Berlin Zoological Garden

Berlin Zoological Garden
Berlin zoological garden, Germany| Photo from Britannica Encyclopedia
Area86.5 acres 
Number of species1373 (as of 2017)
Opening date1844

Germany’s oldest surviving and most famous zoo, Berlin zoological garden, was opened in 1844. It is located in Berlin’s Tiergarten. It has an area of 86.5 acres.

Berlin zoo is home to a comprehensive collection of animals with over 1380 species. Home to twenty-one thousand animals, the place attracts many visitors every year. 

After sixty-nine years of establishment, the zoo built an aquarium to welcome aquatic life as part of the Zoologischer Garten complex.

In 2017, the zoo and its aquarium welcomed more than 3.5 million visitors, making it the most visited zoo in Europe. 

Many universities, research institutions, and other zoos collaborate with Berlin zoo because of such diverse flora and fauna.

The zoo encourages the European breeding program to help thrive endangered species. It also participates in several species reintroduction programs. 

7. San Diego zoo

San Diego zoo
San Diego Zoo, USA| Photo from Expedia
LocationSan Diego, California 
Area99 acres 
Number of speciesMore than 650 
Opening date1916

The San Diego zoo, established in 1916, is one of the most prominent zoos in the world. The zoo was a pioneer in cageless exhibits that resemble natural habitats—located in Balboa Park, San Diego, California.

The zoo houses over 12000 animals of more than 650 species in an area of ninety-nine acres.

In 2018, the zoo became the most visited zoo, with over four million visitors. The San Diego Zoo holds accredited membership of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums

The zoo was once known for breeding giant pandas, but all of the pandas were repatriated to China in 2019. 

The zoo has a guided tour bus facility that travels to seventy-five percent of the park. With that sort of facility in the zoo, the zoo never disappoints. The zoo opens every day of the year but Christmas. 

The above list provides information on the world-renowned largest zoo in the world. Other zoos could not make it to the list, losing just an inch of the mentioned zoos. 

The largest zoo by area, Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park, could not make it to the list because of its relatively less diverse species and the few animals.

Zoos worldwide strive to uplift the quality of zoos and parks to give visitors from all places an unforgettable experience and protect species.

6. Henry Doorly Zoo and aquarium 

Henry Doorly Zoo
Henry Doorly Zoo, USA| Photo from Spaces for Learning
LocationNebraska, USA
Area130 acres
Number of species962
Opening date1894

The zoo is in Nebraska, USA. It was established in 1894. The original name of the zoo was Riverview park zoo, and it gave a home to one hundred twenty animals. 

In 1963, Margaret Hitchcock Doorly donated $750,000. Miss Margaret requested to change the zoo’s name to henry Doorly zoo in memory of her late husband, Henry Doorly.

Now the zoo is home to over nine hundred sixty-two species. The zoo covers a total area of one hundred thirty acres. Trip advisor claimed Henry Doorly zoo to be the best zoo in the world in August 2014.

The record of annual visitors is around two million. The main motto of the zoo is conservation, research, recreation, and education; the Association of Zoos and Aquariums also accredits the zoo. 

The zoo features the kingdom of the night, the world’s largest nocturnal exhibit, and an indoor swamp.

5. The National zoological Garden 

National zoological park
The National Zoological Park, South Africa| Photo from Expedia
LocationSouth Africa
Area210 acres 
Number of species700
Opening date1899

The national zoological park, widely known as Pretoria zoo, is located in Pretoria, South Africa.

The zoo serves as a home to about 9000 animals and has an area of 210 acres. In 1899, The zoo was founded by J. W. B. Gunning.

It is the national zoo of South Africa. The zoo is considered the number one zoo in South Africa. Controlled by the South African national biodiversity institution (SANBI), the zoo protects about 700 species. 

More than 600,000 visitors experience the pleasant and enriching biodiversity of the zoo annually. 

The zoo participates in various conservation events. It accommodates endangered species providing the proper habitat and food regularly.

The zoo gets funds from the government for the work it has done. The zoo offers more facilities and makes visitors’ time pleasing using the money.

The exhibits in the Toronto zoo are divided into seven zoogeographic regions: Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia, and the Canadian Domain. 

Some other animals are displayed inside or outdoors in naturalistic environments. Around 2 million people visit the zoo annually. 

The zoo is considered to have a diverse collection of animals on a display of any zoo. It opens every day of the year; the zoo only closes on December 25. 

4. Beijing zoo

Beijing Zoo
Beijing Zoo, China| Photo from CGTN News
LocationBeijing, China 
Area220 acres 
Number of species950
Opening date1907

The Beijing zoo is the ancientest zoo in China and the oldest part in northern China and was founded in 1907 in Xicheng district, Beijing, the capital city of china.

The zoo is considered to have one of the largest animal collections in the world. The zoo offers zoological research examining breeds from different parts of the world.

The zoo covers an area of 220 acres, including 14 acres of lakes and ponds. The zoo accommodates over fifteen thousand animals with 450 land animals and 500 marine animals. 

Over five million people visit this zoo annually. The zoo is home to many rare species, such as giant pandas, which are the zoo’s most famous animals. 

There is a conservation program to save threatened or endangered species such as the Siberian tiger, yak, Przewalski’s horse, snow leopard, Tibetan gazelle, and kiang. 

3. Bronx zoo

Bronx Zoo
Bronx Zoo, USA| Photo by Wikimedia Commons
LocationNewyork, The USA
Area256 acres 
Number of species650 (2010)
Opening dateNovember 8, 1899

Located in New York, USA, the Bronx zoo is home to six hundred fifty species with over 4000 animals: the zoo was established on November 8, 1899.

The zoo covers 265 acres, making it one of the USA’s most prominent zoos and largest metropolitical zoo.

Around three million visitors arrive in the zoo regularly per year. In 1899, the zoo had 843 animals in 22 exhibits. 

The exhibitions in Bronx zoo have won so many awards. The major exhibits include the congo gorilla forest, jungle world, wild Asia monorail, Madagascar, tiger mountains, African plains, a world of birds, the world of reptiles, and zoo center. 

The zoo is renowned for its diverse and extensive collection of species. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredits it. 

2. Columbus zoo and aquarium 

Columbus Zoo
Colombus Zoo and Aquarium, USA| Photo from Columbus Zoo, LinkedIn
LocationOhio, United States 
Area580 acres 
Number of speciesOver 800
Opening date1927

Home to more than seven thousand animals, the Columbus zoo and aquarium is a non-profit zoo located in Ohio, USA, north of Columbus. 

The zoo was established in 1927 and had an area of five hundred and eighty acres. The zoo is considered the number one zoo in the United States by the USA travel guide. In 2012, the besties reader choice ranked the zoo number one globally.

The zoo has a compressive collection of over 800 species of animals. Two million visitors come to this zoo annually to enjoy the rich biodiversity.

The zoo organizes several conservation programs. The zoo is also seen donating money to external programs and contributing huge through its conservation programs. The zoo invested around 3.4 million USD in more than 70 projects in 30 countries. 

1. Toronto zoo 

Map of Toronto Zoo
Map of Toronto Zoo| Photo from Graham Birtles, Twitter
LocationToronto, Canada 
Area710 acres
Number of species460
Opening dateAugust 15, 1974

The zoo opened on August 15, 1974. The zoo is located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada: the zoo is the largest in Canada. 

The zoo accommodates over five thousand animals, home to over five hundred species, including invertebrates and fish. 

The zoo encompasses 710 acres of land; The municipal government of Toronto owns the zoo. The Founders of the Toronto zoo are John Cameron Egan and his business partner Hugh A Crothers.

The exhibits in the Toronto zoo are divided into seven zoogeographic regions: Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia, and the Canadian Domain. 

Some other animals are displayed inside or outdoors in naturalistic environments. Around 2 million people visit this zoo annually.

The Toronto zoo is considered to have a diverse collection of animals on display in any zoo. It opens every day of the year; the zoo only closes on December 25. 

Like zoos, Protected areas also contribute to biodiversity in their natural habitats. Check our article on such fabulous natural reserves and protected areas.

(Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Saurav Khadka, with his A levels in computer science from Saipal Academy, owns a keen desire to know more about the environment. He wants to preach his knowledge to others by learning through his hobbies; reading, writing, traveling, and watching movies. He believes sharing his insight regarding a sustainable environment will undoubtedly generate positive perceptions in the people.