The El Paso Zoo now covers 35 acres, including a 6-acre "Africa" section that opened in 2010.

The various displays feature rare examples of critically endanged animals: the Amur leopard -- seen in only 36 zoos around the world! -- Sumatran orangutan, Baja California Pronghorn, Mexican grey wolves, and Przewalski's wild horse. It also shows endangered species like Asian elephants, Cotton-top and Golden Lion tamarinds, Spider monkeys, and others.  Of course, it has crowd-pleasers like lions, giraffes, ostriches, sea lions, Galapogas tortoise, Texas horned lizards, iguanas, alligators, and a dozen or so different rattlesnakes from near and far.

Don't expect a big zoo, but the El Paso Zoo maintains high quality, as one of only some 200 accredited members of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, and it works with others on Species Survival Plans for its endangered species.

But this modest zoo is quite cute (and reasonably priced). Children will delight in a train ride around the Africa section, as well as play areas, in addition to the animals. So go have a nice day with your family, strolling, taking time to relax and even picnic, seeing a very educational presentation, and enjoying the beauty of simple pleasures.