Long gone are the days of zoos where animals have their freedom taken away. The 21st century zoo is made out of preservation and commitment to the animals' well being.
And let's face it – who doesn't love a trip to the zoo? Here are some of the top zoos listed below that you may want to check out.
Hailing from California, San Diego Zoo rose to fame somewhat recently, and is home to some of the rarest animals in the world. Known for its commitment to conservation and protection efforts, the zoo has 10 bio-climatic zones ranging from tundra to rain-forest, including a 1,800-acre Safari Park.
Don't forge to check out today's superstars, the Giant Pandas, and meet Xiau Liwu who will be turning 2 this year! You can chip into San Diego Zoo's efforts through its adoption program.
Opened in 1973 (initially known as the Singapore Zoological Gardens), this zoo gets you up close and personal with the animals – the only thing separating you and them are moats (with the exception of more dangerous animals).
The habitats of every animal are designed to match their natural habitats as much as possible, so you can be sure they're feeling at home during your visit.
A mandatory entry, Schönbrunn Zoo is simply the world's oldest zoo. Founded in 1752, it started off as an imperial menagerie to become a scientifically administered zoo focused on conservation of species and nature in general.
While most of its 18 century architecture didn't make it until today (two World Wars contributed greatly towards that), you can still enjoy a significant part of it. The zoo is branded an educational center, so be ready to leave wiser than you were before.
Zoorasia, as it's known, is divided into climate zones and tries to employ as few fences as possible to make your experience as personal as it gets – and also to make sure the animals enjoy living spaces similar to their natural habitats.
Yokohama Zoo's conservation efforts shine at Yokohama City Breeding Center, a closed facility founded to research wildlife and help preserve rare species.
The name might ring a bell from the book and movie Wir Kinder vom Banhof Zoo (We Children from Banhof Zoo), but this zoo has nothing to do with drugs, rent-boys or teen runaways. Instead, it is home to over 1,500 different species, the most comprehensive collection in the whole world.
Berlin's zoo makes up to its title of most visited zoo in Europe, and on the environmentally conscious side of things, it collaborates with many universities, research institutes and actively maintains and promotes breeding, safeguarding and species reintroduction programs.
It's no wonder the National Zoological Park is the United States' “National Zoo”. The zoo was founded in 1889 with the mission of leading in animal care, science, education, sustainability and finally – but not least – visitor experience. Meaning, you'll have a great time while also learning loads and watching and contributing to environmental efforts.
Be sure to check the schedule for the day you're visiting so you can watch events like animal training, feeding demonstrations, keeper talks and much more.
Want to add these destinations on your bucket list? Then, pack all your travel gear, and head off to this astounding heritage site with the help of Trekeffect!