What are the best Zoos in Alabama?
If you love zoos Alabama may be a great destination for a zoo vacation. Alabama has an abundance of zoos and animal sanctuaries. This state boasts a wealth of zoos and animal sanctuaries that offer unforgettable experiences. In 2019, a poll conducted by Alabama Living Magazine revealed that the Birmingham Zoo, the state’s largest zoo, was voted #1 by Alabamians. Spanning 122 acres, the Birmingham Zoo is home to approximately 950 animals from 230 species at any given time.
A close runner-up, the Montgomery Zoo hosts over 500 animals and is nestled within 42 picturesque acres. This zoo is not only a fantastic destination in its own right but also frequently organizes events throughout the year. Additionally, the Montgomery Zoo houses the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum, which showcases exhibits created by trophy hunter George Mann. With so much to offer, Alabama is truly a haven for zoo enthusiasts.
Alabama’s Zoos offer more than entertainment: Conservation, Education, and Research
Alabama’s zoos not only focus on providing entertainment for visitors but also on promoting conservation, education, and research. Many of these institutions participate in Species Survival Plans (SSPs) and collaborate with other zoos and conservation organizations to protect endangered species and their habitats. Through educational programs, Alabama’s zoos seek to inspire the public to become active participants in wildlife preservation efforts.
Another noteworthy zoo in Alabama is the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo in Gulf Shores. Known as “The Little Zoo That Could,” this zoo gained national recognition after surviving Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In addition to featuring more than 250 animals, the zoo offers unique animal encounters, giving visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with kangaroos, lemurs, and sloths. The Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo’s dedication to animal care, conservation, and community engagement has made it a beloved destination for both tourists and locals alike.
For those interested in marine life, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab’s Estuarium is an essential stop. Located on Dauphin Island, this public aquarium showcases the diverse ecosystem of Mobile Bay, the fourth-largest estuary system in the United States. The Estuarium features over 30 aquariums, a stingray touch pool, and interactive exhibits that provide an immersive and educational experience for visitors of all ages. By exploring Alabama’s zoos and wildlife centers, you’ll not only have a memorable vacation but also gain a deeper appreciation for the natural world and the importance of conservation efforts.