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Memphis Zoo: Head and shoulders above the rest

Here is some of what one can expect to see at the Memphis Zoo.
Here is some of what one can expect to see at the Memphis Zoo.
Molly Oster

In 2008, the Memphis Zoo was bestowed the honor of being ranked #1 in TripAdvisor's Call of the Wild: Top 10 U.S. Aquariums and Zoos. In the last one-hundred years, the Memphis Zoo has done much to improve its standings; however, the most impressive improvements have come in the last two decades. Since the early 1990s, the Memphis Zoo has invested over $77 million for renovation and expansion. Below are just a few of the most exotic and exceptional exhibits that the Memphis Zoo now hosts on display.

Memphis is one of only four U.S. zoos that exhibit the Giant Panda
Molly Oster

Birds and Bees

In 2009, the Memphis Zoo opened the Birds and Bees exhibit. This exhibit offers an up close and personal look at two honey bee hives. Moreover, this indoor exhibit explains the large role in which honey bees play in the success of American agriculture.

Upon departure, guests walk out into an outdoor aviary. Here one can feed (and if lucky enough hold) one of the 500 parakeets that fly overhead.

A slice of China in the Memphis Zoo

Once confirmation was received that the Memphis Zoo would become home to a pair of Giant Pandas, the zoo created a Chinese exhibit (that would later extend to what is now the newly created Northwest Passage). As one of only four U.S. zoos to exhibit the Giant Panda, the Memphis Zoo saw fit to create the most authentic Chinese slice of heaven that the zoo could provide.

The zoo’s Chinese exhibit is home to two Giant Pandas, Asian Small-Clawed Otters, Père David's Deer, White-Cheeked Gibbon, Francois' Langur, and an assortment of birds and fish. While the animals on display are impressive enough, the Chinese structures and plant life are the extra details that make the experience memorable.

Stingray Bay

The most recent addition to the Memphis Zoo is Stingray Bay. This exhibit provides an opportunity for guests to feed and touch two species of stingray and two species of shark. This 17,000 gallon pool houses dozens of stingrays, some of which span several feet in length and weigh more than forty pounds. The stingrays are surprisingly friendly and love the attention.

When visiting the Memphis Zoo, one should plan to start early and end late. The 3500 animals and 19 exhibits offer up hours (if not days) worth of both education and fun.

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