10 Largest Zoos in the World

Written by Emilio Brown
Updated: October 31, 2022
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Zoos showcase a variety of animals and let people from around the globe experience wildlife they may not get to see usually. It is easy to house something small like a fish or lizard, but some zoos need to be large to provide a suitable habitat for several large species to live.

Around 355 zoos exist in the U.S, and more than 2800 are located throughout the world. Have you ever wondered what the largest zoo in the world is? In this article, you will learn about 10 of the largest zoos in the world, measured by acreage, which one ranks as the largest zoo in the world, and why they are worth visiting.

Zoos are great for preserving and learning about different species of animals.

The largest zoos have acres of land to make homes for hundreds of animals that live in them.

Let’s learn about 10 of the largest zoos in the world and the thousands of animals that live in them.

10. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Entrance to the Columbus zoo and aquarium.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is a large zoological park with around 582 acres in Ohio Liberty Township. It is considered the largest zoo in the world, but that reach extends beyond this one particular property (see #1, which is operated by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium). More than 10,000 animals are housed in this park, with around 600 types of species from around the world.

The park opened in 1927 and has always expanded, making it one of North America’s largest zoos. 

Animals from around the world like polar bears, kangaroos, lions, cheetahs, flamingos, tigers, bison, alligators, koalas, manatees, and zebra are just a small portion of animals that you can find being showcased.

The animal exhibits are large enough to provide sufficient space and make their home immersive and similar to their wild habitat.

9. Indira Gandhi Zoological Park

Indira Gandhi Zoological Park
The Indra Gandhi Zoological park is the third largest zoo in India.

V.k.Madhav/Shutterstock.com

India is home to hundreds of zoos, and one of the largest in the country is the Indira Gandhi Zoological Park. Opening in 1977, The Indira Gandhi Zoological Park is in the Seekthakonda Reserve Forest and covers 625 acres of land. This is the second biggest Zoo in the world.

Around 800 different animals inhabit this park with 80 different species. Reptiles, mammals, birds, and a variety of plant life can all be enjoyed in this large attraction. 

Buses, bikes, and taxis are some ways to get around this park’s large size. Ten million visitors come yearly to see the free-range and caged animals. This Zoological park is extremely large and is the third biggest zoo in India.

Their goal is to help sustain the lives of rare and endangered animals while giving people a place to learn about them. 

8. Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo
The Toronto zoo has indoor and outdoor attractions and can house around 5000 animals.

Lester Balajadia/Shutterstock.com

Modern Toronto Zoo opened in 1966 and is the largest zoo in Canada. It is located in Toronto, Canada, and is 710 acres large. The Toronto Zoo also has the most animals in captivity in Canada, with 491 species and over 16,000 animals to enjoy. This is the third biggest zoo in the world.

The animals come from all over the world, and you can see some like polar bears, arctic wolves, wood bison, grizzly bears, lizards, and a variety of other animals. 

Species worldwide are located in the Toronto Zoo so that they can be learned and appreciated. Zoos like the Toronto Zoo are great for preserving endangered species and learning about them. The Toronto Zoo Wildlife Conservancy helps reintroduce animals into the wild and gives humans a chance to learn from the animals themselves.

The Toronto zoo is one of the world’s largest and has one of the widest selections of animals. 

7. Nandankanan Zoological Park

Nandankanan Zoological Park
The Nandankanan Zoological park helps preserve animals and is the first zoo to breed a white tiger in captivity.

tantrik71/Shutterstock.com

First opening in December 1960, this zoo, near the Northeast coast of India, was created to showcase the rare flora and fauna of the world. With its size, the zoo can house around 2,669 animals and 157 different species. The Nandankanan Zoo Park and garden has a large size of around 1080 acres. This is the fourth biggest zoo in the world.

The Nanadankana zoological park has animals such as rare reptiles and mammals. By breeding, they play an essential role in conserving animals like monitor lizards, gharial crocodiles, pangolins, and vultures. Around 2.6 million visitors come to this zoo annually to take in the variety of wildlife attractions. 

6. Arignar Anna Zoological Park 

Arignar Anna Zoological Park
The Arginar Anna Zoological Park is the first public zoo in India.

iStock.com/palliki

The Arignar Anna zoological park is 1,490 acres and is India’s second-largest zoo. There are over 2,000 animals in this zoological park and around 171 different species. The main goal of this zoological park is to preserve endangered species from around the world and show the layman the beauty of exotic animals. 

The Arignar Anna zoological park opened its doors for the first time on July 24, 1985. This zoo is in Tamil Nadu, India, with up to 2 million visitors yearly. The park’s rescue center and breeding center help preserve and maintain a variety of animals.

The large size of the zoo makes it possible to maintain the diverse habitats needed by the different animals. 

5. The Living Desert Zoo 

The Living Desert Zoo
The Living Desert Zoo is the second largest zoo in California.

Steve Cukrov/Shutterstock.com

Totaling around 1,200 acres, the Living Desert Zoo is one of the largest Zoos in the United States. Located in Palm Desert, California, the park houses around 450 animals. The zoo’s large size makes it capable of keeping 150 different species.

African wild dogs, leopards, mongoose, fox, black rhinos, pythons, and mountain lions are just a small number of animals in this park. Open daily most of the year, the tickets and memberships help support the animals in the park. 

The Living Desert Zoo first opened in March of 1970 and introduced its half a million yearly visitors to various exotic and rare species. The zoo’s most enjoyable attractions are hiking, dining, and viewing the animals. The zoo’s wildlife hospital and conservation center also help sustain various animal wildlife. 

4. San Diego Zoo Safari 

San Diego Zoo Safari
More than 1 million guests visit the San Deigo Zoo Safari yearly.

The Image Party/Shutterstock.com

The San Diego Zoo Safari is the biggest animal park in California and is 1,800 acres large. This zoo should not be confused with the other popular park near it, which is the San Diego Zoo, which is only 100 acres. 

The Safari park houses animals such as: 

With the 1800 acres of land, many animals can be housed and given the proper space to be researched. The exotic animals in the zoo allow researchers to study how to preserve and maintain the species in the wild. Animals in need of conservation can be studied at places like the San Diego Zoo Safari, and it also allows visitors to get an up-close view of animals they may never cross paths with within the wild. 

3. North Carolina Zoo 

North Carolina Zoo
The North Carolina Zoo is the largest natural habitat zoo and also has over 1,800 animals housed in it.

ZikG/Shutterstock.com

Located in Asheboro, North Carolina, the North Carolina Zoo is the largest in North Carolina and is also the second largest zoo in the United States. The park is 2,600 acres large and is located on forested land in the center of North Carolina. It originally opened on August 13, 1976, and today has around 1,800 animals that can be enjoyed and studied. 

Out of the 1,800 animals, there are 205 different types of species in the zoo. North Carolina zoo is the largest wildlife park in the world that uses natural habitats for animals’ homes. Walking and seeing the animals can take up to 5 hours since the park is so large. 

2. Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park 

Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park
A Look at the largest zoo in India.

Jayavardhan/Shutterstock.com

The Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park is one of the largest wildlife parks in the world and the largest zoo in India. It is 5,532 acres large and has been running since 1987. Animals like the beautiful peafowl, swans, leopards, and birds of prey are some of the animals you can see. It is not only extremely large, but around 1,016 animals live in the park.

Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park is important in preserving and rescuing various wild animal species. The house of carnivores and house of herbivores are some attractions you can see in this park. The zoological park’s theme is based on Hindu mythology and gives informative information about their animals. Being so large, this has enough space to replicate the different animal’s natural habitats effectively. 

1. The Wilds Safari Park 

The wilds safari bus
The Wilds is the largest zoo in the world, and it first opened in 1994.

Bikingshaun / CC BY 3.0 – License

The Wilds is a non-profit safari park located on 10,000 acres in Cumberland, Ohio. The wilds Safari park is the largest zoo in the world and North America. It has a variety of animals, some of which are rare and endangered. White rhinos, zebras, bison, giraffes, deer, and other animals are the species you will see in The Wilds Safari Park. Breeding endangered, as well as other types of conservation efforts, are done by the experienced researchers that help run this Safari Park. 

Tour buses and driving routes allow viewing all animals over the large 10,000 acres of land. Rare animals, horseback riding, fishing, zip-lining, and hiking in the wild are some of the main attractions of the largest zoo in the world.

Summary of the Largest Zoo in the World

RankZoo NameLocation
1The Wilds Safari ParkCumberland, Ohio
2Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park India
3North Carolina Zoo Asheboro, North Carolina
4San Diego Zoo SafariSan Diego, California
5The Living Desert ZooPalm Desert, California
6Arignar Anna Zoological ParkIndia
7Nandankanan Zoological ParkIndia
8Toronto ZooToronto, Canada
9Indira Gandhi Zoological ParkIndia
10Columbus Zoo and AquariumLiberty Township, Ohio

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About the Author

Spiders, snakes, and lizards are my favorite types of animals, and I enjoy keeping some species as pets. I love learning about the various wonders nature has to offer and have been a writer for 5 years. In my spare time, you can find me getting out into nature.

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