on June 19, 2010
Since 1906 locals and visitors have been enjoying the wonderful Memphis Zoo. The Zoo is part of Overtone Park (and the Brooks Museum is within the park as well) just outside of downtown. More than 3500 animals call this place home and over 500 species are here covering 76 acres. They are divided into 3 zones with 19 exhibits with the most popular being the China exhibit which houses the panda bears. The zoo was started $1200 and was lead by Col. Robert Galloway who was over the Memphis Park Commission. It consisted at the time of 23 cages and a bear run. In 1959 the aquarium exhibit was added. It shows both fresh and salt water exhibits. In 1979 it underwent a major renovation. In 1993 the Cat Country opened up a 3 acres open air exhibit housing a number of big cats. In 1995 three new exhibits were open. Animals of the Night, Once Upon A Farm, and Primate Canyon were added. In 1998 a new animal hospital was opened with plenty of space to keep animals separate while recovering from injury. The same year musician, Jeff Buckley’s mother dedicated 2 plaques at the zoo to honor her son (who had drowned in Memphis the previous year). The zoo was a favorite place of the musician to visit when he was in town. In 2003 the zoo became only one 4 zoos in the country to have the beloved panda bears. Ya Ya and Le Le and several other native creatures moved into their new China exhibit. In 2009 the latest exhibit, Teton Trek, was added. Teton Trek brought the wonders of Yellowstone Park to Memphis, to include a replica of Old Faithful. The East Zone includes Teton Trek, Northwest Passage, and African Veldt. Central includes China, Primate Canyon, and Cat Country. West includes Komodo Dragons, the aquarium, and the round barn (which used to be a police barn for the mounted police). In additional there are luscious gardens all over the zoo. This was one of my favorite places. I am a huge animal lover and I always visit zoos when I am in town. I was especially anxious to visit this zoo since they had the pandas. I love these incredible creatures. They have the sweatiest little faces. While I was in the African Veldt I found a baby giraffe. Oh my goodness what a baby. I wanted to climb into that habitat and just snuggle that little baby with those big eyes. There was an oranatang that was just such a handsome guy. I just fell in love with him. And at the bird habitant, you can purchase seed sticks for $1 and the birds hop on your stick and feed from here. Who says money can’t buy happiness?? I can see why in 2008 Trip Advisor writers named them the #1 zoo in the country. They are currently working on a hippo camp and future plans include a 17 acres forest land with a boardwalk through out for visitors. They have a number of events throughout the year including summer camps for kids, Zoo Brew, plugged in concerts in the summer, Zoo lights, zoo boo, earth day programs. They are part of the AZA. Want a wonderful and unique place to hold your wedding? Why not hold it here. Or high school reunion, corporate events, birthday party, or any other event. Check out their website since they have hotel packages. Save your pennies as they have the smashed penny machine. Always my favorite souvenir (apparently lots of people like these things like I do. If you want to locate one go to www. Pennycollector.com). As I have mentioned many times before, I am a big animal lover. I only give my money to places who care for their charges and who make their habitats as comfortable as possible for the animals. This place is just such a place. So animal lovers can come and enjoy this wonderful place. Website www.memphiszoo.org. What did you think of the place? Absolutely loved it. Want to see a while lot of cute in one place? Then come right over to the Memphis Zoo. Just make sure you bring your camera to capture it all.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009