Jun 01

Knoxville Zoo

Karen at Black Bear Falls with watermark

The Knoxville Zoo located in downtown Knoxville is a 53 acre zoo that has over 800 animals.  It is a small zoo with an expensive ticket price, $20.00 per adult and $5.00 for parking. (As of March 2011) Though it is smaller then a lot of the bigger zoos in the nation, for being a town with less then 200,000 people, it is still a very nice zoo.  When going to the Knoxville Zoo, be prepared to walk many steps and hills.  It is not the flattest zoo in the world.  However, if you go in the cooler months of the year some animals may be off exhibit.  On the plus side, if you have kids and some of the animals are not being displayed you can spend a lot of your time in the nice kids cove area.
Kidzone Knoxville Zoo watermark

Karen at Kidzone with watermark

The Knoxville Zoo has all of the big name animals that are expected at a zoo.  They have black bears, rhinos, African elephants, giraffes, gorillas, and lions.  While we were there in the early part of 2011 the zoo was building a new lions area.  Karen and I felt that the zoo’s top exhibits were the Red Panda Village, Chimp Ridge, Gorilla Valley, Stokely African Elephant Preserve, and African Grasslands.  The Knoxville Zoo also has one of the finest ‘single animal’ exhibits that Karen and I have ever seen with their Black Bear Falls exhibit.
Elephant Knoxville Zoo with watermark

Rhino Knoxville Zoo with watermark

The Black Bear Falls exhibit contains several black bears in a spacious habitat with many artificial trees for the bears to climb.  The exhibit also features a long hollowed out tree log that you can walk down inside of to get a closer more intimate look at the black bears.
Black Bear Knoxville Zoo with watermark

Black Bear Falls Trees Knoxville Zoo watermark

The Red Panda Village is a premier red panda exhibit.  Knoxville Zoo is known for its breeding program and in 2010 there were two red panda cubs born at their zoo.  It is also very spacious with two enclosures one of them is a walkthrough which has unobstructed views of the red pandas.  In the other enclosure the red panda is behind a small chain linked fence.
Red Panda 2 Knoxville Zoo watermark

Red Panda Knoxville Zoo watermark

The Chimp Ridge and Gorilla Valley were very nicely laid out and the animals have spacious yards.  The Chimpanzee family has a troop of 7 while there are only a couple of Gorillas but looking at the zoo’s signs it seems like they are going to be trying to add more over the next couple of years.

The Stokely African Elephant Preserve and African Grasslands exhibits were built in 2002 so it is still fairly new with several large artificial trees and pools for the elephants.  The preserve is home to three African elephants.  The African Grasslands exhibit is a large multi-species exhibit that includes the elephant preserve as well as giraffes, kudus, waterbucks, gazelles, and zebras.  The grassland exhibit has many different view points to see these fine animals.
Zebras and Elephant Yard Knoxville Zoo with watermark

Hoofstock with Reflection with watermark

Overall the Knoxville Zoo is a nice small city zoo, but be prepared to pay a little bit more then at most zoos in the country.  Karen and I ended up going because we are members of the Oklahoma City Zoo so we got into The Knoxville Zoo for free.  All members of participating zoos receive free entrance at the Knoxville Zoo.  So, if you are member of your local zoo (which Karen and I both highly recommend you become one) then go to the Knoxville Zoo.  However, if you are not then the zoo is definitely not worth the price unless you have some sort of coupon.  If you are not a zoo member and are looking to see some wildlife I would pass on the zoo and travel down to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Check out our other zoo reviews by clicking here.

Knoxville Zoo is open everyday except Christmas- weekdays from 9:30 to 4:30 and weekends from 9:30 to 6:00.

Knoxville Zoo Address
3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive,
Knoxville TN 37914

For more information visit their website at http://www.knoxville-zoo.org/

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