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“Some very interesting animals.”
Review of Zoo Knoxville

Zoo Knoxville
Ranked #5 of 201 things to do in Knoxville
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Fun on the outside and serious about animals on the inside, Zoo Knoxville is committed to giving our guests an unforgettable experience.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase
Reviewed 27 July 2014

I visited this collection for the first time 22 July. For years this zoo has been famous for its African Elephants and its reptiles. Both were very much in evidence. I especially enjoyed a graphic discussing in detail every one of the African Elephants that have lived in Knoxville, commencing in 1963. The reptile collection deserves its reputation. Much of it is displayed in a facility opened decades ago, and, as other contributors have mentioned, many of the displays show their age with compromised viewing. There is also a newer series of reptile displays, near the front entrance, in a children's activity center. Many of the reptiles are endangered, maintained as part of breeding programs with which Knoxville has participated for many years. Among them are Chinese Alligators, Louisana Pine Snakes, Pan's Box Turtles, Burmese Mountain Tortoises, Bog Turtles, Roti Island Snake-neck Turtles, and Komodo Monitors. There are also quite a few species, such as the Mole King Snake and the Gongorosa Girdled Lizard, which, while secure in the wild, are only rarely exhibited in zoos. The bird collection is small, but there some impressive species such as White-naped Cranes, Hispaniolan Amazon Parrots, Southern Ground Hornbills, and Crested Seriemas. A great deal has been spent on exhibits for the "Charismatic Mega-Vertebrates" that many folks expect to see. Both Chimps and Gorillas have beautiful otudoor exhibits. As some contributors have mentioned, they were not visible in either enclosure at my visit, but both species could be seen further along the trails, behind glass. The Southwest African Lions were behind glass, beautfully displayed. Another famous feature of this zoo is a long-term breeding program for Nepalese Lesser Pandas, and there was a series of exhibits for them with excellent signage. Yellow-backed Duikers and Giant Peccaries were pleasant surprises. The biggest surprise was a display for native Big Brown Bats in the children's zoo's nocturnal area. Most zoos don't exhibit native US bats, because they hardly ever fly on display, choosing South American species instead. Beavers were unusually visible, as were Red Wolves, and the American Black Bears in their beautiful exhibit at the front entrance.

2  Thank Zoogoer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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721 - 725 of 999 reviews

Reviewed 24 July 2014

My wife and I took our 2 year old for a day at the zoo. Pleasant surprise to find a 2 dollar off admission for adults in a local coupon book we picked up at a restaurant. We have been to many zoos but we found the people here to actually care. Not just about the customer put the animals too. Most of the exhibits where updated or in the process of being updated. Plenty of background information about the animals in each exhibit. Most zoos we have been to don't allow to get as close to the animals as this zoo does. The elephant exhibit is extremely large and you can see all the elephants without being on top of other guest. The lion exhibit is the best one I have saw. Also the gorilla and monkey exhibits will you to get real close to the animals and have plenty of good viewing points. My only complaints where the map they give you doesn't show that they are upgrading some exhibits so therefore its not exactly the way it is on the map but there were plenty of signs to guide your way. Also to have such as nice lion exhibit, it seemed the tiger exhibit was newly remodeled but there was only tiger in quite a large exhibit. Plenty of concessions and not overly priced and they offer refills for 99 cents. You to have to pay 5.00 to park but for what you get its worth it. Worth the trip if you are visiting the area. Overall its a nice park with some good things going for it and a good knowledgeable staff.

2  Thank CarGuyNC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2014 via mobile

Although not as large as the National Zoo in DC, the ability to get up close to all of the animals made this trip a great experience.

1  Thank Rob H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 July 2014

The zoo is nice for what it is, however my comparison points are the Miami Metrozoo and the National Zoo in Washington. The Knoxville zoo is nice for children, its has several features for them including a splash park which is much appreciated by my grands when they visit and a petting zoo area. However many of the large animal exhibits are under repair or remodel every time I go there. The price if you are not an annual member is tourist pricing not locals pricing.I am a member naad will continue to be one. One really nice event they have annually is the "Boo at the Zoo" which is a great alternative to trick or treating in these uncertain times

Thank Cooki47
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 July 2014

It actually looked like a nice place on paper. After about 15 minutes if being there, a family member fell resulting in a bruised knee, black eye and a broken ankle! Not one single park personnel stopped to ask if help was needed! When I finally got someone to radio a park ranger for help, they escorted us OUT OF THE PARK as fast as they could. Never asked if medical help was needed or anything, and I even told them that the ankle was obviously broken! Being we were on vacation, we went to the hospital there and then made the long (and painful) 8 1/2 hour trip home to Illinois. Very, VERY disappointed.

4  Thank FromIllinois1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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