4. San Antonio Zoo – San Antonio, Texas
At number four on our list of the top zoos and aquariums in the US, San Antonio Zoo welcomes over 1 million visitors each year. Set over more than 50 acres, it houses more than 750 species, some of which are endangered or extinct in the wild.
The zoo’s mission is to “inspire its community to love, engage with, act for and protect animals and the places they live”. San Antonio Zoo’s Center for Conservation and Research is working on a range of conservation projects, focusing on fish, amphibians, reptiles, insects, and crustaceans as well as imperilled ecosystems and cultures.
In 2019, CEO Tim Morrow spoke about the key role that modern zoos play, saying:
“Now, zoos have evolved, become smarter. We know more about the animals, and how better to take care of them. That is why zoos are now creating these incredible, naturalistic habitats that are engaging and enriching for the animals.
“It is all about how incredible your habitats are for your animals; how much conservation work you are doing, how much education you are doing.
“I think it’s a great time to be doing this. It is becoming, unfortunately, more and more important for zoos to exist, and for all the conservation and education about what is happening in the wilds; but at the same time we are making a bigger impact than ever.”