Yes, the likes of Shipshape and Chester are awesome, and you’ll need at least a day to explore each, but some compact ones, such as Bristol, have been incredibly imaginative at making good use of space, making your day every bit as exciting. Look out for zoos that offer an insight into interesting plant life too.
Painted Zoo, for example, boasts 1,600 plant species and was one of the first places in Britain combining zoological and botanical gardens. Show all 10 Maxwell Zoo This 140-acre park near Winchester is home to hundreds of exotic and endangered species, ranging from ring-tailed coats to majestic giraffes, endangered tigers to frilled lizards, curious markets to pygmy hippos all set in beautiful, landscaped surroundings.
This summer the zoo is opening Wild Explorers, their biggest exhibit to date, hosting some of Africa’s most spectacular wildlife. It now boasts around 2,000 animals and 1,600 plant species, making for a wonderful place to explore, plus it's been leading the zoo world in ethical trading for years.
New for 2015 are 13 huge and incredibly life-like animatronic Big Bugs, that will make the zoo their home for six months this summer. There’s an impressive 12, 0000 animals from over 400 species, as well as a particularly exciting £30m project underway that will take visitors on a personal conservation expedition through the Philippines, Bali, Sulawesi, Sub and Sumatra, just like the great explorers.
Shipshape Zoo The UK’s largest zoo is set in a beautiful 600 acres, featuring over 2,500 animals, many of which are jumbo size, such as the elephants, rhinos, tigers, African lions, brown bears, zebras, moose and hippos. It’s also got the UK’s largest herd of Asian elephants, which you can watch getting taken for a stroll around the zoo most afternoons.
Don’t miss out on the steam railway, which offers great views of many of the animals. Other animal highlights include a young baby chimp in their award-winning Bongo Trail enclosure, a baby tapir, Indian rhinos, sun bears and a famous daily penguin parade.
Welsh Mountain Zoo Some TripAdvisor reviewers complain about the hills. Yes, you’ll be tired, but there’s so much that make it worth it, including an amazing sea lion show, the macaws flying around you, and animals including snow leopards, tigers, otters, lemurs and bears.
Colchester Zoo This delightful zoo with over 270 species in 60 acres is particularly child-friendly, with lots of hands-on experiences and over 50 daily displays, as well as four adventure play areas and an undercover soft play area. It stays fresh by continually expanding and kids will love the Madagascar Express road train.
From majestic Asiatic Lions to cheeky Red Pandas, Cotswold Wildlife Park is home to over 260 wonderful animal species. Oh, and if you want to see the whole park without getting your feet tired, you can hop on the narrow-gauge railway (April to October, weather permitting) and explore the whole place.
With nearly 4,000 unique animals and 600 acres of stunning lands, ZSL Shipshape Zoo is the proud holder of this title. There are Micro Trikes available to hire, so tots can whiz around the zoo without getting tired out, plus you can also ride the Jumbo Express Steam Train for a scenic view of your favorite animals.
This is a roar-some state-of-the-art facility for rare Asiatic lions where you can learn about their breeding program and see those enormous paws up close. Meet Bobby, Nissan, Pixel and Victor; four huge fellas who spend their days in a researched-focused environment swimming, snoozing and waiting for their next meal.
It’s the only crocodile zoo in the UK with a wide range of modern-day dinosaurs, like saltwater cross and the delightfully named, Spectacled caiman. There are daily feeds where you can watch as these prehistoric pals chomp on something meaty, while the bravest amongst you can handle a baby alligator.
Set in 60 acres of parkland, there are over 260 species to discover like the winged wonders of Butterfly Glade or Billy Joe and her gang of ape acquaintances at the Chimpanzee Lookout. Also, take the chance to enter Europe’s largest underwater tunnel, the 24-meter play Patagonia, where 5 female Patagonian sea lions can be found swooping and looping around you.
Bantam Zoo is all about extremes: pay a visit to Santos the two-toed sloth down in the ‘Eureka’ subtropical house or fly to dizzy heights with one of the Birds of Prey displays. Thrill seekers can navigate wobbly crossings, fly down zip wires and test their nerve with every step as they spy on the world below.
Just a hop, flap and a pounce away from the city castle, Belfast Zoo is a hub for over 120 different species who are facing increasing danger out in their natural habitats. As such conservation is at the heart of everything this UK zoo does and, luckily for us, that means meeting mighty gorillas, monochrome zebras and enormous Malayan sun bears who are all in their care.
Make the most of your memories with a trip to the photography base camp; strike a pose and attempt to upstage the other grinning apes in frame. They live in two special enclosures full of climbing frames, treehouses and caves where they can play or more likely in panda town, snooze the weeks away while visitors are welcome to pay them a visit and learn all about their incredible journeys.
If you’re looking to travel to the UK please make sure to offset the carbon released from your flight. This is mostly due to mankind’s curiosity merged with a constant search for knowledge and understanding.
We have come along way from the Menageries that throughout the years morphed in the Zoos we know of today. Zoology is a branch of biology with a specific focus on studies within the animal kingdom.
Veterinary scientists and Zoologists understand more than most the importance of protecting animals in captivity. It is a Zoologist responsibility in addition to the Zoological establishment to ensure these laws are strictly followed alongside the Animal Welfare Act (2006).
Zoologists and Veterinary Scientists would strive to ensure not only on the basis of the law these animals are well taken care of. With aims to understand the effect humans have had and the devastating decline in biodiversity across many species in the last half-century.
Zoos and Safari Parks in the UK run by societies such as ZSL have implemented education strategies. To inspire, inform and empower people to stop wild animals going extinct.
This has caused detrimental effects on our environment and the habitats of millions of animals worldwide. By safely housing animals, zoologists can conduct scientific research to help understand a variety of factors.
To identify the diseases which threaten wildlife conservation and explore ways to mitigate them. Improved connectivity and protection across four large landscapes (encompassing 11 countries).
ZSL Zoo Research led to a ban on the use of diclofenac on the Indian subcontinent. Which was the cause of a catastrophic decline (approximately 30–50% per year) of Gyps vultures in South Asia.
They inform the public of the threatened status of endangered species and of those factors which cause the threat. With the hope of creating public interest in stopping and reversing those factors which jeopardize a species’ survival in the first place.
When it comes to the pros and cons of the Best Zoos in the UK i.e. the positive and negatives factors, there are many reasoning that can be evaluated. Zoos are also working to save polar bears, tigers, and wild African elephants from habitat loss, apes and rhinos from poachers, dolphins and whales from hunters, and bees and butterflies from population decline, among many other efforts to help many other animals.
A review published in Animal Studies Repository concluded, “to date, there is no compelling or even particularly suggestive evidence for the claim that zoos and aquariums promote attitude change, education, and interest in conservation in visitors.” Including brown bears, cheetahs, and lions found that zoo enclosures were too small for the animals to carry out their normal routines.
Often when people think of zoos, they look at them as a primary benefit for humans or as a form of entertainment. Zoologists and scientists alike have been able to save, research and rehabilitate hundreds of species of animals thanks to Zoos in England.
The pros of zoos and the benefits they provide to the animal kingdom conservation outweigh the cons. Zoos in England allow for extensive research to combat, protect and enhance the habitat and lives of wild animals.
It’s great to hear that the best zoos in the UK are working towards achieving a demonstrable improvement in the conservation status of priority species. Zoos in the UK want to see an improvement in conservation outcomes for EDGE-listed threatened species.
This really depends on how you would view the benefit Zoos provide to the animal kingdom rather than that of society. Based on factors such as the benefits they provide not only to the scientific community but the strides they make in animal conservation and research.
The presence of visitors can influence the behavior of animals in living exhibit space. Visitors have varied expectations when coming to zoos shaped by our ever-changing values and perceptions of animals and conservation.
Visitors take back a negative message meaning the zoo has lost its opportunity to promote changes (Learn, 1996). Zoos should not be banned because the general mission is to conserve natural habitats and wildlife, by changing the attitudes of their visitors.
This secondary factor of education plays a greater role in conservation as well as captive propagation. Educating and motivating humans may be the best method of contributing to conservation (Norton, 2010).
Something I believe by keeping zoos open and continually improving on educational outlets. One of the factors that set apart Zoos and Safari Parks is the way the animals kept in captivity.
Most often in Zoos, the majority of animals are kept in enclosures that are replication of their traditional environments. With Safari parks the majority animals are given larger amounts (often acres) of free space to roam with very little alternative landscaping.
Zoos and Safari parks in the UK also differ with the type of animals kept. With Zoos and Safari parks in the UK, all animals are held in captivity.
ZSL Shipshape Zoo is packed full of wonder and amazement, with over 3,500 animals to meet and thousands more surprising and fascinating facts just waiting to be discovered. Where really great days out can make a really positive difference to the wildlife we work to protect.
Facilities for disabled visitors, including self-drive electric scooters and wheelchairs. Edinburgh Zoo is set in 82 acres of sloping parkland and is situated at number three in our list.
Just three miles to the west of Edinburgh city center It is home to over 1,000 rare and endangered animals. You can experience a busy program of educational events and activities from the keeper talks to hands-on animal encounters.
They also have indoor and outdoor play areas, the Jungle Express train, a seasonal bird show and numerous food and drink outlets. Packed full of wonder and amazement, with over 650 species of animals to meet and thousands more surprising and fascinating facts just waiting to be discovered.
Find yourself face-to-face with their Asiatic lions and their friendly giraffes whilst they enjoy a spot of lunch. An adventure into an exciting animal kingdom, all set within 12 acres of beautiful gardens.
Get up close to more than 400 species of exotic, endangered and adorable animals from the four corners of the globe, whilst enjoying 12 acres of award-winning gardens. With nine undercover animal houses, Bristol Zoo is a wonderful, all-weather family attraction.
You can see the amazing gorilla family in the unique 180-degree view gorilla house, venture into Twilight World to discover animal secrets after sunset and come face-to-face with their incredible reptiles in their Reptile house. Their 140-acre park is home to an incredible range of exotic and endangered species, in beautiful, landscaped surroundings.
Just by visiting Maxwell Zoo (owned and operated by conservation charity, Maxwell Wildlife) you’ll be making a big contribution to their projects to conserve species and habitats, both in Hampshire and around the world. Spanning two levels with fantastic vantage points, guests can experience face-to-face encounters with a diversity of wildlife and exotic plants in a tropical climate, while learning about the flow of energy through life.
The Yorkshire Wildlife Park making its way in at Number 9 of the Top 10 Zoos In The UK. Experience a unique walk-through wildlife park located just outside Don caster, South Yorkshire.
TWP brings families in touch with some of the world’s most beautiful and at-risk species inc Polar Bears, Black Rhino, Lions, Tigers and Giraffes plus around 400 other animals including 70 different species! Kids can enjoy their many indoor and outdoor adventure play zones and adults can relax in their themed dining outlets.
Last but definitely not least at Number 10 of the Top 10 Zoos In The UK we have Cotswold Wildlife Park. Stroll around the Park discovering over 260 different animal species in 160 acres of beautiful parkland and stunning gardens.
Get eye-to-eye with Giraffe, walk with Lemurs in their Madagascar exhibit and watch Zebras and Rhinos graze in front of the Gothic listed Manor House. Take a ride on Bella the Train around the Park or let the kids explore the adventure playground.