Zoo entrance (2014)
|Date opened||November 1962|
|Location||Papago Park, Phoenix, Arizona, United States|
|Land area||125 acres (51 ha)|
|No. of animals||3,000|
|Major exhibits||Monkey Village, Harmony Farm, Desert Lives, Stingray Bay, Forest of Uco, Orang-Hutan: “People of the Forest”, Isle of the Tiger|
The Phoenix Zoo opened in 1962 and is the largest privately owned, non-profit zoo in the United States. 125 acres (51 ha) of land in the Papago Park area of Phoenix. It has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride.Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the zoo was founded by Robert Maytag, a member of the Maytag family, and operates on
A zoo is a facility in which all animals are housed within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also breed.
Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,626,000 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States, and the most populous American state capital, and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents.
The Maytag Corporation is an American home and commercial appliance brand owned by Whirlpool Corporation after the April 2006 acquisition of Maytag.
The zoo has over 1,400 animals on display 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of walking trails. It is divided into four main themed areas or trails: The Arizona Trail (American Southwest flora and fauna), the Africa Trail (animals from Africa), the Tropics Trail (residents of the rain forests), and the Children's Trail, which includes a petting zoo.and contains
The zoo has been conservation minded from its inception. Soon after it opened it hosted what was thought to be the last few Arabian oryx, which formed the basis of the world herd created for Operation Oryx and eventually allowed the reintroduction of the species into the wild.It now includes a sanctuary to care for animals that are endangered or unwanted.
The Arabian oryx or white oryx is a medium-sized antelope with a distinct shoulder bump, long, straight horns, and a tufted tail. It is a bovid, and the smallest member of the genus Oryx, native to desert and steppe areas of the Arabian Peninsula. The Arabian oryx was extinct in the wild by the early 1970s, but was saved in zoos and private preserves, and was reintroduced into the wild starting in 1980.
The Phoenix Zoo began as a personal project of Robert Maytag, who formed the Arizona Zoological Society (now the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation) with the intention of opening a zoo in Phoenix; before this time, there were a few modest proposals to establish a zoo in the fast-growing city, but none moved past the discussion stage.
Although Maytag died unexpectedly a few months before its opening, the zoo opened on schedule in November 1962. It was originally named the "Maytag Zoo", but was renamed the following year to "Phoenix Zoo" to identify it more closely with the community. The zoo was established on the site of a fish hatchery operation built as a Works Progress Administration project in the 1930s, and operated by the Arizona Game and Fish Department until 1959. The zoo has always been a privately owned, non-profit venture.
The Works Progress Administration was an American New Deal agency, employing millions of people to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads. It was established on May 6, 1935, by Executive Order 7034. In a much smaller project, Federal Project Number One, the WPA employed musicians, artists, writers, actors and directors in large arts, drama, media, and literacy projects. The four projects dedicated to these were: the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP), the Historical Records Survey (HRS), the Federal Theatre Project (FTP), the Federal Music Project (FMP), and the Federal Art Project (FAP). In the Historical Records Survey, for instance, many former slaves in the South were interviewed; these documents are of great importance for American history. Theater and music groups toured throughout America, and gave more than 225,000 performances. Archaeological investigations under the WPA were influential in the rediscovery of pre-Columbian Native American cultures, and the development of professional archaeology in the US.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department is a state agency of Arizona, headquartered in Phoenix. The agency is tasked with conserving, enhancing, and restoring Arizona's diverse wildlife resources and habitats through aggressive protection and management programs. It also provides wildlife resources and watercraft and off-highway vehicle recreation.
Although the zoo had some financial struggles in the early 1960s, it grew substantially during the 1970s as it added numerous new exhibits, landscaping features, and visitor amenities. The 1980s saw continued growth, with the addition of African Savanna habitat areas, a children's zoo, a new entrance complex, and other exhibits. During this time, the zoo also underwent a renovation project to divide it into four themed zones (called "trails"), featuring different types of exhibits.
A savanna or savannah is a mixed woodland grassland ecosystem characterised by the trees being sufficiently widely spaced so that the canopy does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of grasses.
The zoo expanded again in 1998 with the opening of Harmony Farms, home to a petting zoo and many domestic farm animals.In 2000, the zoo opened Desert Lives, and in 2004 it added a new primate walk-through exhibit called Monkey Village. In November 2006, aquatic species were added to the zoo with the opening of Stingray Bay,. In November 2009, two Komodo dragons were brought to the zoo as a part of the zoo's capital campaign. In April 2011, as a part of the zoo's capital campaign, Orang-Hutan: People of the Forest, the new orangutan exhibit opened to the public.
A petting zoo features a combination of domesticated animals and some wild species that are docile enough to touch and feed. In addition to independent petting zoos, also called children's farms or petting farms, many general zoos contain a petting zoo.
The Komodo dragon, also known as the Komodo monitor, is a species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang. A member of the monitor lizard family Varanidae, it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to a maximum length of 3 metres (10 ft) in rare cases and weighing up to approximately 70 kilograms (150 lb).
The Phoenix Zoo has four major themed areas, or "trails", where visitors can experience exhibits representing different areas of the world and their native wildlife: the Arizona Trail, the Africa Trail, the Tropics Trail, and the Discovery/Children's Trail.
The Arizona Trail is designed to emulate the wildlife and plant life of the state of Arizona. It features several plants native to the Sonoran Desert including the saguaro cactus, and animals such as the coyote, collared peccary (more commonly known as the javelina), cougar, bobcat, raven, turkey vulture, coati, thick billed parrot, Sonoran pronghorn, and the Mexican wolf.
The Africa Trail showcases many of the most popular animals in the world, including the African painted dogs, hamadryas baboon, mandrill, ostrich, Mhorr's gazelle, white rhino, Grévy's zebras, lions, cheetahs, Reticulated and Masai giraffes. The Desert Lives (pronounced like "life") trail, diverts off of the Africa Trail before and after the lion and hyena exhibits, and features bighorn sheep and Arabian oryx among the natural buttes.
The Tropics Trail has two parts. The inner trail following the lake is home to the "Tropical Flights" aviary as well as Bornean orangutans and the common squirrel monkeys of "Monkey Village". The outer tropics trail passes by the Komodo dragons in the "Land of the Dragons" exhibit,Asian elephants, jaguar, Galápagos tortoises, Aldabra giant tortoises, iguanas, anteaters, Sumatran tigers of the "Isle of the Tiger" exhibit, and an assortment of tropical birds. It includes the Forest of Uco, a lush rainforest landscape that surrounds visitors along a 1-mile walking trail and includes reproductions of a South American mercado and a scientific expedition and ruins, and highlights several tropical animals including the Andean bear.
The Children's Trail lets children get close to many small animals from around the world, including emus, an ocelot, a caracal, siamang gibbons, and golden-mantled tamarins.
Next to the Wallaby Walkabout is a rectangular display called "Feel the Difference",with three vertebrate charts (reptile, fish, and amphibian), and an invertebrate chart created by Frank Schaffer Publications.
Continuing on the trail will take you through Harmony Farm, featuring many farm animals, a petting zoo, and demonstrations on farming and agriculture oriented toward children.
The Hunt Bass Hatchery Caretaker's House was built in 1936 and is located in the Phoenix Zoo grounds. Following the Great Depression, Governor George W. P. Hunt (Arizona's first elected governor) commissioned a bass fish hatchery to be established in Papago Park during 1932. The hatchery was built as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project. The hatchery, operated by the Arizona Game and Fish Department, was a success, and was in operation until 1959 (as it was considered obsolete by this time); around this time, the state of Arizona ceded the majority of Papago Park to the City of Phoenix. The City of Phoenix leased the hatchery grounds, including its man-made lakes, to the Arizona Zoological Society in 1962 to establish the Zoo. The hatchery property was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on January 23, 2003, reference: #02001723.The Caretaker's House was renovated in the late 1990s, and is now known as "Ruby's House", as it is dedicated to the memory of Ruby, the famous painting elephant at the zoo (see her biography below). Ruby's House has become a popular venue for weddings, receptions, and other special events.
In addition to the trails, the zoo has several specialty attractions.
The zoo has a wide array of youth programs and animal encounters, including field trips,Night Camp, an outreach program which includes a zoomobile for outreach to locations outside the city, a summer camp, and a large volunteer program for teenagers 13–17, known as the Zooteen program.
Since opening in 1962, the zoo has focused on animal conservation efforts. Programs at the Phoenix Zoo include captive breeding for reintroduction (for instance the Arabian oryx, black-footed ferret, Mexican wolf, Ramsey Canyon leopard frog, and thick-billed parrot, sanctuary for animals that are no longer breeding (for instance the African painted dogs at the zoo),and rescue and rehabilitation (for instance lead poisoning treatments for the California condor).
The Phoenix Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for 29 species with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The goal of the SSP is to engage in animal husbandry and research projects for selected species that are in need of conservation efforts.
In its first years, the zoo hosted a captive breeding program ("Operation Oryx") with the specific goal of reintroducing the almost extinct Arabian oryx to the wild.By the early 1990s this program was still one of only two programs (the other being the golden lion tamarin) to have gone through the full wilderness-zoo-wilderness sequence. Nine oryx had been caught or donated for the breeding program. However, two pairs were delayed, so the "World Herd" was started in Phoenix in 1963 with only five animals shipped to the zoo and two born quickly after. The two delayed pairs arrived in 1964 to increase the herd to 11 individuals. The program was very successful, and the zoo celebrated its 225th Arabian oryx birth in 2002. The Arabian oryx became extinct in the wild in 1972, and reintroduction efforts were started in 1982 when oryx were released to the wild in the Omani Central Desert and Coastal Hills. Additional captive herds have been discovered and used as the basis for reintroductions, for instance in Saudi Arabia, but there has been some interbreeding even with these herds and most of the Arabian oryx in the wild today have ancestors from the Phoenix Zoo.
The zoo provides sanctuary to many animals that need a place to live for various reasons. Some (like the Arabian oryx, Bali mynah, rhinoceros hornbill, Mexican gray wolf, and white rhinoceros) participate in captive breeding programs, some (such as the African spotted dogs) have retired from such programs and need a home,some have behavioral problems, and some are being rehabilitated to return to the wild. Animals that are in of sanctuary are treated somewhat differently from other animals by the zoo. While normal exhibits balance the needs of the animals with those of visitors (for example, incorporating large viewing areas), the sanctuary exhibits are almost completely focused on the comfort and well-being of the animals.
After the 1998 death of Ruby, the zoo's famous painting elephant, the zoo abandoned its elephant breeding program and began to focus on elephant behavior. The zoo is currently home to three Asian elephants that have a variety of behavioral issues, the most common being aggressive toward other elephants. One elephant is a former performer at a circus and was subject to mistreatment, while the other two were captured in remote regions where they were never properly socialized.
The zoo provides lead poisoning treatment for California condors from the Grand Canyon area. These birds are one of the most endangered species on the planet, having at one time been reduced to 22 individuals in the wild.In February 2006, they treated a female (#149) who had been released in the 1990s and her son (#304) who survived a very rare birth in the wild. Both birds were captured in the Grand Canyon region and brought back to the zoo to be treated. A California condor (#133) was still being treated for lead poisoning at the zoo as of March 2010.
The Phoenix Zoo garnered worldwide attention for one of its animals, an Asian elephant named Ruby. Ruby came to the zoo in 1973, just months after being born in Thailand. After noticing Ruby doodling in the sand with sticks, her keeper decided to give her a brush and paint. Ruby quickly became known for her paintings, the sales of which raised over US$200,000 for the zoo. Art collectors all over the world joined 18-month waiting lists and paid hundreds of dollars for original prints.
In 1997, Ruby became pregnant. Near the end of her 22-month pregnancy, veterinarians discovered that the calf was dead. Ruby's uterus had ruptured, and the calf had slipped out and into Ruby's abdomen. Due to complications during the surgery to remove the 320-pound fetus, Ruby had to be euthanized.
In 1997, then-zoo director Jeff Williamson merged some departments of the zoo in a business move that was intended to provide a clearer direction for zoo operations. Many of the zoo's approximately 350 volunteers interpreted the merger as an elimination of volunteer training efforts. As a result, more than half of them left the zoo by 1999.
In May 2005, a veterinarian named Kris Nelson filed a series of complaints against the zoo regarding animal care and management. Her complaints were backed by two former zoo employees: a chief veterinarian and an animal nutritionist. The complaints stated that dozens of animals had been harmed or died as a result of poor management, feeding practices, and quarantine procedures. Another veterinarian, 15-year zoo employee Kathy Orr, discounted many of Nelson's claims as being either invalid, or having been corrected already.
The following June, an independent committee of zoological experts from other areas of the country cleared the Phoenix Zoo of the charges. In a published report, the committee outlined some minor flaws in the zoo's operation, but reported no "serious deficiencies".
A Phoenix municipal bond election in March 2006 provided $2 million to the project,marking the first time the zoo has received public funds in its history. On 8 June 2006, then-zoo director Jeff Williamson announced a major fund-raising drive over the next 10 years to update the zoo's infrastructure and many of its aging exhibits. The zoo needs to raise $70 million to complete the project. In 2009, a shorter term goal is to raise $20 million by 2012 to pay for a number of improvements that are already under way.
The San Diego Zoo Safari Park, originally named the San Diego Wild Animal Park until 2010, is an 1,800 acre zoo in the San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego, California, near Escondido. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in San Diego County. The park houses a large array of wild and endangered animals including species from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Australia. The park is in a semi-arid environment, and one of its most notable features is the Africa Tram, which explores the expansive African exhibits. These free-range enclosures house such animals as antelopes, giraffes, buffalo, cranes, and rhinoceros. The park is also noted for its California condor breeding program, the most successful such program in the United States.
London Zoo is the world's oldest scientific zoo. It was opened in London on 27 April 1828, and was originally intended to be used as a collection for scientific study. In 1831 or 1832, the animals of the Tower of London menagerie were transferred to the zoo's collection. It was eventually opened to the public in 1847. Today, it houses a collection of 673 species of animals, with 19,289 individuals, making it one of the largest collections in the United Kingdom. The zoo is sometimes called Regent's Zoo.
The National Zoological Park, commonly known as the National Zoo, is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It is part of the Smithsonian Institution and does not charge for admission. Founded in 1889, its mission is to "provide engaging experiences with animals and create and share knowledge to save wildlife and habitats".
Hanover Zoo is located in the city centre of Hanover, Germany. The zoo was established on 4 May 1865, and comprises an area of 22 hectares. It contains about 3,414 animals in 237 species, which are cared for by more than 400 employees in the summer season.
The Oregon Zoo, originally the Portland Zoo and later the Washington Park Zoo, is a zoo located in Washington Park, Portland, Oregon, approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of downtown Portland. Founded in 1888, it is the oldest zoo west of the Mississippi River.
African Lion Safari is a family-owned safari park in Southern Ontario, Canada, straddling the cities of Hamilton and Cambridge, located 100 kilometres (62 mi) west of Toronto. Guests may tour seven game reserves via tour buses or visitors' own vehicles where animals roam freely in contained areas. Accompanying the game reserves is a walking section where exotic birds and primates, as well as the park's herd of Asian elephants, are on display.
The Toronto Zoo is a zoo located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Encompassing 287 hectares, the Toronto Zoo is the largest zoo in Canada. It is divided into seven zoogeographic regions: Indo-Malaya, Africa, Americas, Tundra Trek, Australasia, Eurasia, and the Canadian Domain. Some animals are displayed indoors in pavilions and outdoors in what would be their naturalistic environments, with viewing at many levels. It also has areas such as the Kids Zoo, Waterside Theatre, and Splash Island. It has one of the most taxonomically diverse collection of animals on display of any zoo; it is currently home to over 5,000 animals representing over 500 species. The zoo is open to the public every day of the year except December 25.
Beardsley Zoo, located in Bridgeport, Connecticut, is the only AZA-accredited zoo in the state of Connecticut. It includes one of the few carousels in the state.
The Royal Melbourne Zoological Gardens, commonly referred as the Melbourne Zoo and simply as the Zoo among locals, is a zoological park in Melbourne, Australia. It is located within Royal Park in Parkville, approximately 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) north of the centre of Melbourne. It is the primary zoo serving Melbourne. The zoo contains more than 320 animal species from Australia and around the world, and is accessible via Royal Park station on the Upfield railway line, and is also accessible via tram routes 58 and 19, as well as by bicycle on the Capital City Trail. Bicycles are not allowed inside the zoo itself.
Brookfield Zoo, also known as the Chicago Zoological Park, is a zoo located in the Chicago suburb of Brookfield, Illinois. It houses around 450 species of animals in an area of 216 acres (87 ha). It opened on July 1, 1934, and quickly gained international recognition for using moats and ditches instead of cages to separate animals from visitors and from other animals. The zoo was also the first in America to exhibit giant pandas, one of which has been taxidermied and put on display in Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History. In 1960, Brookfield Zoo built the nation's first fully indoor dolphin exhibit, and in the 1980s, the zoo introduced Tropic World, the first fully indoor rain forest simulation and the then-largest indoor zoo exhibit in the world.
The Birmingham Zoo is a zoological park that opened in 1955 in Birmingham, Alabama (US). It is the largest zoo in Alabama. The 122-acre (49 ha) zoo is home to almost 800 animals representing over 200 species, including many endangered species from six continents.
The Karachi Zoo, also known as Karachi Zoological Gardens, is located in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It is the largest zoo of Pakistan and second oldest zoo in the country after Lahore Zoo.
Papago Park is a municipal park of the cities of Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona, United States. It has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride. It includes Hunt's Tomb, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
La Palmyre Zoo is a zoo in Les Mathes, Charente-Maritime, near Royan, in southwestern France. It was created in 1966 in the forest of la Coubre by Claude Caillé. Extending over 18 hectares, including 14 of landscape garden, it offers the visitor the opportunity of observing more than 1600 animals of all kinds, divided into 145 species, over a distance of more than 4 kilometres (2.5 mi).
The Denver Zoo is an 80-acre (32 ha) facility located in City Park of Denver, Colorado, United States. Founded in 1896, it is owned by the City and County of Denver and funded in part by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). It is the most popular paid attraction in the Denver metropolitan area.
The Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park is a zoo in Syracuse, New York. It is owned and operated by Onondaga County Parks with support from Friends of the Zoo. The zoo is home to more than 700 animals on 43 acres (17 ha). Some of the more popular animals include Asian elephants, Humboldt penguins, and Amur tigers. The zoo also houses a conservation education center, banquet/meeting space, Jungle Cafe, and gift shop.
Woburn Safari Park is a safari park located in Woburn, Bedfordshire, England. Visitors to the park can drive through exhibits, which contain species such as southern white rhino, elephants, tigers and black bears. It is part of the estates of the Duke of Bedford that also includes Woburn Abbey and its 3,000-acre (1,200 ha) deer park. The Safari Park itself covers 360 acres (150 ha).
The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, located in Jacksonville, Florida, sits at the mouth of the Trout River, near where it flows into the St. Johns River. The zoo occupies approximately 117 acres (47 ha) and has over 2,000 animals and 1,000 plants in its collection. The zoo has grown from its modest beginnings in Springfield to be considered one of the city's premier attractions, with more than one million visitors in the past year.
The Arabian oryx, also called the white oryx, was extinct in the wild as of 1972, but was reintroduced to the wild starting in 1982. Initial reintroduction was primarily from two herds: the "World Herd" originally started at the Phoenix Zoo in 1963 from only nine oryx and the Saudi Arabian herd started in 1986 from private collections and some "World Herd" stock by the Saudi National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC). As of 2009 there have been reintroductions in Oman, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan, and as of 2013 the IUCN Red List classifies the species as vulnerable.