We all love our cats, dogs, and hamsters. But what about the animals we usually only see on the Discovery Channel? In-person viewing of wildlife can help educate and motivate animal lovers in conservation efforts. This is one of the goals of zoos, and in the United States, there are 439 of them.
But where in the country are the most zoos located? Ten U.S. states (and even some cities!) have many more than others, which means you might be able to visit two in one day. But not all zoos are the same. Zoos can be diverse in the type of animals they keep. See the familiar and unfamiliar zoo names for yourself on the map below.
View U.S. Zoos in a full screen map
The data for the map comes from Wikipedia’s list of zoos in the US. It includes some of the largest zoos in the US, including zoos of various types: safari and animal theme parks, aviaries, butterfly or other insect zoos, reptile centers, and petting zoos, as well as wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves. Filter by the type of zoo that most interests you or stay tuned for where they’re located.
While 439 U.S. zoos may seem like a lot, they’re not all evenly distributed across the country. Several states have at least 25 times the number of zoos than other states. Even select cities have more zoos than some states.
According to Wikipedia, Florida is home to the most zoos in the U.S. Thirty-one animal theme parks, jungles, and animal museums are located across the Sunshine State. Four of those 31 zoos are located in a single Florida city: Miami. There are also three in Tampa.
Additionally, both Texas and California have plenty of zoos to offer residents and visitors alike. Texas has 26 while 25 are located in California. Two more states have at least 20: Wisconsin (22)—where the city of Wisconsin Dells is home to three—and New York (20). Speaking of New York, five zoos are located in N.Y.C., though they’re all in different neighborhoods. Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and The Bronx each have their own zoo.
On the other end of the spectrum, the entire state of Wyoming has just one zoo: the Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary. The state has no official zoo. Other states like Vermont and Rhode Island have only two. But what kinds of zoos are we talking about? Let’s take a look.
All of the 439 zoos contain animals and all are open to visitors (at least pre-pandemic). But some are marketed towards lovers of specific animals. For example, a safari zoo would attract more elephant aficionados than a farm zoo. Horse fans may prefer the farm option which is why we assigned a type to each zoo.
- Zoo – 175
- Park – 87
- Wildlife sanctuary – 47
- Museum, conservation, or nature reserve – 25
- Farm or petting zoo – 23
- Aviary, butterfly, or other insect zoo – 19
- Safari – 18
- Reptile or marine center – 17
- Lions, tigers, & bears – 14
- Animal theme park – 14
Of course, most are general city zoos (175). Of these, 15 are located in Texas. As for the types of zoos that appear the least, there are 14 animal theme parks. Four can be found in Florida: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, Disney’s Animal Kingdom (in Bay Lake), Orlando’s Gatorland, and Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee.
The rest of the animal theme parks are on a one-per-state basis and none can be found in the same city. But just because that’s the case with these types of zoos, doesn’t mean it applies to them all.
Several cities have multiple zoos. For example, Miami is home to Zoo Miami, Jungle Island, Monkey Jungle, and the Zoological Wildlife Foundation. Other cities like Wisconsin Dells and St. Louis also have many zoo options. To determine if you can visit two on the same day, do more than just eyeball how close they are. You can calculate distances between two addresses or points, (in this case, zoos) on your BatchGeo maps.
To do so, click the ruler in the top left corner of the map and select the measuring tool. From here, draw a line to each point and BatchGeo will let you know how far they are apart. For example, Miami’s Jungle Island is a little over 18 miles from Zoo Miami in the same city. These benefits are available to BatchGeo Pro users in Advanced Mode. Get started today at batchgeo.com.