Mei Letourneau

Written by Mei Letourneau

Modified & Updated: 31 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Welcome to Zoo Atlanta, a fascinating destination that offers an incredible array of wildlife and educational experiences. The zoo is home to a diverse collection of animals from all corners of the globe, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to connect with the natural world. But there’s more to Zoo Atlanta than meets the eye! In this article, we will uncover 15 surprising facts about this renowned zoo that will leave you in awe. From its rich history and conservation efforts to its notable residents and one-of-a-kind attractions, Zoo Atlanta is truly a gem in the heart of the city. So, let’s dive in and discover the hidden wonders that await at Zoo Atlanta!

Key Takeaways:

  • Zoo Atlanta is home to over 1,000 animals, including rare and endangered species, providing a diverse and exciting wildlife experience for visitors of all ages.
  • Visitors can enjoy immersive encounters, educational programs, and conservation efforts at Zoo Atlanta, making it a top destination for animal lovers and conservation enthusiasts.
Table of Contents

Zoo Atlanta is home to over 1,000 animals.

Zoo Atlanta boasts an impressive collection of over 1,000 animals, representing more than 200 species from around the world. From majestic elephants to vibrant tropical birds, visitors can explore a diverse array of wildlife within the zoo’s expansive grounds.

The zoo is one of the oldest in the United States.

Established in 1889, Zoo Atlanta holds the distinction of being one of the oldest continuously operating zoological institutions in the country. With its rich history and steadfast commitment to animal conservation, the zoo has become a beloved landmark in Atlanta and a popular destination for both locals and tourists.

Pandas have been a star attraction at Zoo Atlanta since 1999.

Zoo Atlanta is renowned for its Giant Panda Conservation Program, which began in 1999 with the arrival of two giant pandas, Lun Lun and Yang Yang. The program has since flourished, making the zoo one of only a few in the United States where visitors can see these rare and endangered animals.

Atlanta’s zoo played a significant role in saving the red panda population.

In collaboration with other zoos and conservation organizations, Zoo Atlanta has been instrumental in efforts to protect and breed red pandas. Through successful breeding programs, the zoo has contributed to the overall population sustainability and genetic diversity of these beloved creatures.

It is one of only four zoos in the U.S. to house Guatemalan bearded lizards.

Zoo Atlanta is fortunate to be one of the select few zoos in the United States that houses Guatemalan bearded lizards, also known as “Heloderma charlesbogerti.” These unique reptiles are highly endangered in the wild, and the zoo plays a crucial role in their conservation and education.

Visitors can go behind the scenes with a Wild Encounter experience.

Zoo Atlanta offers an immersive Wild Encounter experience, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with some of their favorite animals. From feeding a giraffe to interacting with a rhino, these behind-the-scenes opportunities provide a truly unforgettable animal encounter.

The zoo is actively involved in numerous conservation projects.

Committed to preserving biodiversity and protecting vulnerable species, Zoo Atlanta is engaged in various conservation initiatives worldwide. Their efforts range from supporting habitat restoration to participating in breeding programs for endangered animals.

Zoo Atlanta is home to one of the largest collections of orangutans in North America.

Orangutans are one of the zoo’s most significant animal populations, and they provide an incredible opportunity for visitors to learn about these highly intelligent primates. With extensive outdoor habitats and enriching environments, Zoo Atlanta ensures the well-being and enrichment of their orangutans.

The zoo offers educational programs for all ages.

Zoo Atlanta is dedicated to promoting education and awareness about wildlife and conservation. They provide a wide range of educational programs and camps designed to inspire a love for animals and the natural world in people of all ages.

The zoo’s Ford African Rain Forest exhibit is an immersive experience.

Step into the mesmerizing Ford African Rain Forest exhibit and be transported to the heart of Africa. This immersive habitat houses a diverse range of African species, including gorillas, lemurs, and exotic birds, allowing visitors to feel immersed in the sights and sounds of the African continent.

Visitors can take a ride on the zoo’s picturesque train.

Zoo Atlanta features a charming train ride that takes visitors on a scenic journey around the park. This enjoyable mode of transportation provides a unique perspective of the zoo’s beautiful landscape and allows guests to relax and enjoy the sights.

The zoo has been featured in several films and TV shows.

With its picturesque setting and diverse collection of animals, Zoo Atlanta has become a popular location for film and television productions. It has been featured in movies and TV shows, adding an extra touch of excitement and recognition to the zoo’s already impressive reputation.

The zoo’s conservation efforts extend beyond its borders.

Recognizing the global impact of conservation, Zoo Atlanta supports various international conservation initiatives. By collaborating with other organizations and actively participating in projects worldwide, the zoo strives to make a positive difference in the preservation of wildlife and their habitats.

Zoo Atlanta offers an array of dining options for visitors.

Exploring the zoo can work up an appetite, and Zoo Atlanta ensures that visitors have a variety of dining options to choose from. Whether it’s a quick snack or a full meal, guests can enjoy delicious food while taking in the scenic surroundings of the zoo.

The zoo actively participates in research and scientific studies.

Zoo Atlanta is committed to contributing to scientific knowledge and understanding of animal behavior, conservation, and welfare. Through collaborative research projects with universities and other scientific organizations, the zoo helps advance our knowledge of numerous species and their needs.


In conclusion, Zoo Atlanta is a fascinating and diverse destination that offers much more than meets the eye. From its rich history to its commitment to conservation, there are a multitude of surprising facts that make this zoo truly unique. Whether it’s exploring the lush habitats, getting up close and personal with exotic animals, or learning about the important conservation efforts being undertaken, Zoo Atlanta is a must-visit for nature lovers of all ages. So, the next time you find yourself in Atlanta, be sure to pay a visit to this amazing zoo and experience the wonder for yourself.


Q: What is the history of Zoo Atlanta?

A: Zoo Atlanta was first opened in 1889 and is one of the oldest continuously operating zoos in the United States. It has a rich history and has undergone many transformations over the years.

Q: How many animals are housed at Zoo Atlanta?

A: Zoo Atlanta is home to over 1,000 animals representing more than 200 different species. From elephants and giraffes to pandas and gorillas, there is a wide variety of animals to see and learn about.

Q: Does Zoo Atlanta participate in conservation efforts?

A: Yes, Zoo Atlanta is actively involved in numerous conservation programs and initiatives. They work collaboratively with other zoos and organizations around the world to protect endangered species and their habitats.

Q: Are there any unique experiences or interactive exhibits at Zoo Atlanta?

A: Absolutely! Zoo Atlanta offers various interactive experiences, such as feeding giraffes, interacting with reptiles, and taking a behind-the-scenes tour. These experiences provide visitors with a closer look at the animals and their behaviors.

Q: Can I bring my own food to Zoo Atlanta?

A: Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food and drinks to enjoy at designated picnic areas within the zoo. However, there are also several dining options available on-site if you prefer to purchase food on your visit.

Q: Is Zoo Atlanta wheelchair accessible?

A: Yes, Zoo Atlanta is fully accessible for wheelchair users. They provide accessible pathways, wheelchair rental options, and other accommodations to ensure that all visitors can enjoy the zoo.

Zoo Atlanta offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of wildlife, but there's so much more to explore! Dive into the incredible efforts being made to protect endangered species and their habitats through conservation initiatives. For a unique perspective on animal education, check out the intriguing facts about Saitama Children's Zoo, where young minds are inspired to appreciate and understand the wonders of the animal kingdom.

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