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Fort Worth Zoo
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrShowcasing over 500 animal species, both native and exotic kinds, the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas has been recognized as one of the top 10 zoos in the United States according to popular newspapers and magazines. Based on the Zagat survey, the nationally acclaimed zoo has been ranked the no. 1 tourist attraction in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Not only does the zoo cater to a million visitors annually, the Fort Worth Zoo also continuously supports wildlife conservation all over the world.
HistoryThis prestigious animal reserve was founded in 1909, starting off with only just a few animals such as Lions, Bear cubs, Coyote, and Rabbits. Funds collected from the city and money raised by the zoological society in 1939 helped the zoo in acquiring new animals, progressively developing the 64-acre flora and fauna sanctuary we see today. One of the most notable collection in the zoo’s history is the completion of the “Herpetarium” in 1960, which housed the largest exhibit of amphibians and reptiles in the entire world. The 200 different species were safely enclosed in 175 vivaria.
Fort Worth Zoo Main ExhibitsThe Fort Worth Zoo was owned and operated by the local city government up until 1991, the Fort Worth Zoological Association then took over under contract with the city. The following year, the zoo started to open series of exhibits, the first two being the “World of Primates” and “Asian Falls”. Within the next decade, the zoo added other exhibits like the Raptor Canyon, Asian Rhino Ridge, Flamingo Bay, Insect City, and the Meerkat Mounds. Currently, the Fort Worth Zoo consists of 12 exhibit areas, over 7,000 animals of 500 different species. These complete list of exhibits are the following:
- Penguins – an indoor exhibit that contains a colony of African Black-Footed Penguins.
- World of Primates – A 2.5-acre exhibit that features different groups of Chimpanzees, Gorillas, and other species of primates.
- Asian Falls – an Asian elephant complex, complete with Malayan and White Tigers, and other mammals endemic to Asia.
- Raptor Canyon – an aviary home to different species of eagles, such as Harpy Eagles, Bateleur Eagles, and Crowned Eagles.
- Cheetahs – an exhibit that features the zoo’s Cheetahs in an open area.
- Flamingo Bay – an area where over 70 Flamingos (3 different species) are exhibited.
- Meerkat Mounds – an exhibit where a colony of Meerkats can be seen.
- Australian Outback and Great Barrier Reef – a collection of Australian mammals and aquatic animals, representing over 86 species.
- African Savannah – an open area where Rhinos, Giraffes, and Ostriches are free to roam around.
- Parrot Paradise – a free-flight aviary that exhibits different kinds of Parakeets and Cockatiels.
- Texas Wild! – a collection of animals that can be found all over Texas. Some animals you can see here are Aplomado Falcons, Bald Eagle, Harris Hawks, Burrowing Owls, Swift Foxes, Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs, and Black-Footed Ferrets.
- Museum of Living Art (MOLA) – a $19 million, 30,000 sq.ft. newly rebuilt “Herpetarium”. The exhibit features more than 5000 animals, representing over 100 species of reptiles and amphibians.
Attractions Inside the Zoo
- Tasmanian Tower – a 25-foot rock climbing wall located near the Australian Outback.
- Outdoor Learning Theater – a 13,000-square foot facility near the Penguins exhibit where guests are entertained by live animal shows, educational encounters, and zoo presentations.
- Yellow Rose Express Train – a miniature train that travels between the Texas Wild! and the Safari Depot.
- Texas Wild! Petting Corral – a petting corral where visitors can interact with domestic goats, Guinea Hog, Opossums, Armadillos, and a Texas Longhorn Calf.
- Texas Nature Traders – Situated inside the Texas Wild!, the Texas Nature Traders is a home base for many Texas-based education programs for children. The program runs through exploration and exchange of fossils, rocks, plants, and artifacts inside the area.
Dining and SouvenirsAfter a day of strolling and exploring the amazing wildlife inside the Fort Worth Zoo, visitors can dine and lounge at the Crocodile Café situated along the zoo’s main pathway. The café offers delicious selections of burgers and snacks, including vegetarian options. Other food stalls and concession stands are located all throughout the area, such as Burger Kind, Ranch Grill, and even Pizza Hut.
For souvenirs, head out to the Safari Shop located at the zoo’s front gate. The shop offers one of a kind gift items, souvenir shirts and hats, and even disposable cameras. You can also get other unique gift items at the General Store in the Texas Wild! location.
Admission and Zoo HoursThe admission rates when visiting the Fort Worth Zoo is $ 12 USD for adults, and $ 9.00 USD for children and senior citizens. Toddlers are free of charge and admission is half-price during Wednesdays. The parking fee per vehicle is only $ 5.00 USD . The zoo tickets can be used within 10 days upon purchasing the ticket.
The zoo is open daily from 10AM to 4PM daily, all year-round. During Daylight Saving Time (DST), the zoo is still open up to 5PM on weekdays, and up to 6PM on weekends. On an additional note, the zoo hours and admission fees are subject to change without prior notice (especially on holidays), to get the most recent updates, tourists can call the Fort Worth Zoo through this local hotline: (817-759-7555)
Getting ThereVisiting the Fort Worth is very easy when you have your own car (using GPS Navigation). The zoo is also accessible by commute through bus or train.
- By Car – Take the Interstate 30 going to University Drive. Head south along University Drive for about a mile and turn left on Colonial Parkway. Directions to the Fort Worth Zoo should be all over the place.
- By Bus – Commuters can take DART Buses to University Drive (route 7), the buses can drop you off a few blocks from the Fort Worth Zoo.
- By Train – The TRE Commuter Rail Service from Dallas (Union Station) and DFW Airport travels to certain key places around Fort Worth, including the zoo.
- When visiting with your toddlers and children, strollers are available for rent near the Safari Shop. Wheelchairs are also available for visitors who are handicapped.
- Just like other zoos in the country, the Fort Worth Zoo discourages visitors to feed the animals in the exhibits since the animal’s dietary requirements are constantly monitored by their handlers.
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Author: radiantan. Last updated: Jan 18, 2015