Zoo Atlanta

800 Cherokee Avenue SE
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta is one of the oldest cultural attractions in the city. It is located at Grant Park. Grant Park is a residential district, known for its Victorian mansions and Craftsman bungalows.

Atlanta Zoo is in the park by the same name. Grant Park being the oldest surviving city park in Atlanta.

Zoo Atlanta is ranked as one of the finest zoological institutions in the U.S.

Over 1,000 animals representing 200 species live within the state-of-the-art facilities at Zoo Atlanta.

There are so many exhibits and interactive experiences to be had that it might take more than one visit to explore the zoo in its entirety.

The sprawling facility takes up more than 40 acres, which explains why the zoo houses some of the most impressive habitats ever created.

Zoo Atlanta offers memorable close encounters with many animals from around the world. Building a greater awareness of the diversity that exists in the animal kingdom.

For both tourists and locals, Zoo Atlanta serves as one of the top destinations in the area.

5 Reasons to Visit Zoo Atlanta

1. The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation Giant Panda Conservation Center makes Zoo Atlanta one of only four zoos in the United States housing the adorable black and white critters.

2. The Asian Forest is home to one of the largest zoological populations of orangutans.

3. The Ford African Rain Forest houses the nation's largest population of gorillas – more than 20.

4. Zoo Atlanta has year-round fun events including Brew at the Zoo, Boo at the Zoo, Gorilla Egg Hunts, and more!

5. Kids can have a blast while riding the train or cooling off at the splash fountain.

Zoo Atlanta is one of only three zoos in the U.S. housing giant pandas and is home to one of North America's largest zoological populations of great apes.

The African Savanna exhibit has expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, meerkats and more.

The Amphibian and Reptile exhibit features more than 70 species. It is the world’s first LEED Gold-certified reptile and amphibian exhibit.

♦ Wild Encounters are behind-the-scenes guided tours of habitats of elephants, tortoise, lion and giant panda. Depending on the animal you will have a chance to touch or even hand-feed one.

♦ The Treetop Trail aerial playground is a place where children can climb, walk, and balance as they navigate a series of rope ladders, bridges, nets and tightrope-style foot lines on a two-level challenge. This experience is open to Zoo visitors of all ages as long as they are accompanied by an adult.

Don't miss the Endangered Species Carousel, Zoo train and petting zoo.

♦ The Zoo train is one of Zoo Atlanta’s family favorites. A handcrafted replica of an original 1863 locomotive. It can carry up to 100 adults or 140 children. Journey through the town of Critter Crossing to experience a day in the life of its inhabitants.

Smaller children can cool off at the Splash Fountain, enjoy Safari Slide and Naked Mole Rat Playground. Older children will enjoy a challenging Rock Wall climb.

Keeper Talks, interactive wildlife presentations, education programs and special events run year-round.

The Zoo is open daily with the exceptions of Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.


• The Ford African Rain Forest

This is home to one of North America's largest population of great apes. It remains home to offspring of its best-known gorilla, Willie B. (ca. 1959-2000). The zoo is also home to six of Willie B.'s grandchildren.

• Boundless Budgie: A Parakeet Adventure

Boundless Budgies houses free-flying parakeets which guests are permitted to hand-feed. This exhibit closed permanently in November 2016 to allow for expanding of the African Savannah exhibit. It is hoped the parakeets will fly free once again at Zoo Atlanta.

• Trader's Alley and Complex Carnivores

Trader's Alley: Wildlife's Fading Footprints is focused on species impacted by the international wildlife trade.

• African Savanna

The Savanna houses wildlife native to the grasslands and desert of Africa, including lions, African bush elephants, southern ground hornbills, kori bustards, meerkats, and warthogs. Another savanna landscape is home to giraffes, zebras, and ostrich. The former elephant habitat is now home to the Southern white rhinoceros.

Don't be surprised, the elephants will look quite red. This is because they enjoy rolling in mud that is red Georgia clay.

• Giant pandas

The first pandas arrived in Atlanta in 1999 under great fanfare. UPS prepared a specially painted Boeing 767 to fly to Beijing China to pick up two pandas and bring them back to Atlanta. The pandas continue to be a main attraction for the zoo with their every move constantly monitored. They are on loan from China, or one could say Zoo Atlanta rents the pandas from China for $2 million a year.

• Asian Forest

This exhibit is set in the forests of Asia and houses giant otters, sun bears, Komodo dragons, Sumatran tigers, giant pandas, tanukis, and red pandas, as well as Bornean orangutans and Sumatran orangutans.

• The World of Reptiles

The World of Reptiles is the zoo's oldest building used for public exhibits, designed in the late 1950s and opened to the public in 1962. The building is home to hundreds of snakes, lizards, turtles, tortoises, frogs, toads, and salamanders from around the world. Because of the size of the exhibit building, not all of the animals the herpetology department manages can be displayed at one time.

• Outback Station Children’s Zoo

The Outback Station exhibit houses Australian wildlife, including red kangaroos, Major Mitchell's cockatoos, kookaburra and a double-wattled cassowary. The petting zoo is in this area. Children of all ages can enjoy close-up contact with a variety of gentle animals including goats and sheep.


Zoo Atlanta was founded in 1889, when businessman George V. Gress purchased a bankrupt traveling circus and donated the animals to the city of Atlanta.

Original residents of the zoo included a black bear, a raccoon, a jaguar, a hyena, a gazelle, a Mexican hog, lionesses, monkeys, and camels.

The 1950s and 1960s were decades of renovation and construction at the zoo, but by the early 1970s, many of its exhibits and facilities were outdated and showing signs of disrepair.

Following a period of decline in the mid-1980s, the zoo was privatized in 1985 with the creation of a nonprofit organization, Atlanta Fulton-County Zoo Inc., and was renamed Zoo Atlanta that same year.

A 20-year period of aggressive restoration followed, marked by several high-profile exhibit openings, including The Ford African Rain Forest, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. A pair of giant pandas, Lun Lun and Yang Yang, made their debut at Zoo Atlanta in 1999.