Dottie Mcglothlin

Dottie Mcglothlin

Published: 16 Sep 2023


The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is not just your average zoo. It is a place of wonder and discovery, where visitors can witness an incredible array of wildlife from around the world. Located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, this zoo and aquarium offers a truly immersive experience, with a wide variety of exhibits and attractions that showcase both land and aquatic animals.

But what sets the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium apart from other zoos is its commitment to conservation and education. With a mission to inspire visitors to act on behalf of wildlife and the environment, the zoo actively participates in various conservation programs and initiatives.

In this article, we will uncover 16 extraordinary facts about the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, from its fascinating history to its unique exhibits and remarkable achievements. So, let’s dive in and explore the captivating world of this zoo and aquarium.

Table of Contents

Home to over 4,000 animals

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is home to a diverse range of wildlife, with more than 4,000 animals representing over 475 species.

One of only six zoo and aquarium combinations in the United States

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is among the exclusive group of six facilities in the US that combine both a zoo and an aquarium, making it a truly unique destination for visitors.

Spread across 77 acres

Spanning an impressive 77 acres, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium provides ample space for its animal inhabitants and ensures a great experience for visitors exploring its vast grounds.

Home to the first successful African Elephant birth in the history of the Northern Hemisphere

In 1941, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium celebrated a groundbreaking achievement with the successful birth of a baby African elephant, marking a significant milestone in conservation efforts.

Offers educational programs and interactive exhibits

The zoo is committed to educational initiatives and offers a wide array of programs and interactive exhibits designed to inspire and educate visitors about wildlife conservation and the importance of biodiversity.

Features a state-of-the-art polar bear exhibit

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is home to one of the most advanced polar bear exhibits in the country. It provides a naturalistic habitat for these incredible animals, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.

Houses endangered species from around the world

The zoo plays an active role in conservation efforts and is dedicated to preserving endangered species. Visitors can observe and learn about rare animals, such as Amur tigers, Western lowland gorillas, and African penguins.

Offers behind-the-scenes tours

For a more immersive experience, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium offers behind-the-scenes tours, allowing visitors to go behind the scenes and learn about animal care and conservation efforts firsthand.

Features a diverse range of marine life

In addition to its impressive collection of land animals, the zoo is also home to a vibrant and diverse range of marine life, with its PPG Aquarium showcasing various species of fish, sharks, sea turtles, and more.

Offers special events and activities throughout the year

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium hosts a variety of special events and activities throughout the year, including ZooBoo during Halloween, Summer Safari, and Zoo Brew for adults, providing fun and entertainment for visitors of all ages.

Provides conservation support for endangered species

The zoo actively participates in conservation programs and provides support for endangered species through its partnerships with various organizations, contributing to the preservation of biodiversity globally.

Offers interactive feeding experiences

Visitors can enhance their experience by participating in interactive feeding opportunities at designated areas. Get a chance to feed the giraffes, sea lions, and even penguins under the supervision of zoo staff.

Home to the Tropical Forest complex

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium includes the Tropical Forest complex, a lush ecosystem housing a wide range of plant and animal species, including orangutans, pygmy hippos, and brightly colored birds.

Provides educational opportunities for schools

The zoo offers various educational programs catered specifically to schools, providing students with hands-on learning experiences and fostering a sense of environmental stewardship.

Features a fully accredited veterinary hospital

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium boasts a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital, ensuring the health and well-being of its animal residents and furthering advancements in veterinary medicine.

Home to the country’s first sea otter surrogacy program

The zoo made history by pioneering the country’s first successful sea otter surrogacy program, which helps orphaned sea otter pups thrive and eventually be reintroduced into the wild.

With its vast animal collection, commitment to conservation, and engaging programs, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium provides visitors with a unique and unforgettable experience. Whether you’re a wildlife enthusiast, an education seeker, or simply looking for a fun day out with family or friends, this extraordinary zoo and aquarium combination has something for everyone.


The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is a truly extraordinary destination for animal lovers and nature enthusiasts. With its diverse collection of animals, conservation efforts, and immersive exhibits, the zoo offers visitors a unique opportunity to connect with wildlife from all around the world. From engaging in up-close encounters with penguins and sharks to exploring the stunning rainforest and savannah habitats, there is no shortage of incredible experiences to be had at this renowned zoo.

Whether you’re visiting with family, friends, or on your own, the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression. So, make sure to plan a visit and immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of the animal kingdom!


1. Can I bring food into the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium?

Yes, visitors are allowed to bring their own food and drinks into the zoo. There are picnic areas available where you can enjoy your meals. However, glass containers and alcohol are not permitted.

2. Are strollers and wheelchairs available for rent?

Yes, strollers and wheelchairs are available for rent at the zoo’s entrance. They can be rented on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability. It is advisable to arrive early if you require these rental services.

3. Are there any special events or shows at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium?

Yes, the zoo regularly hosts a variety of special events and shows, including animal feedings, educational programs, and seasonal exhibits. It’s recommended to check the zoo’s website or inquire at the information desk for the schedule of events during your visit.

4. Can I get close to the animals at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium?

While there are interactive areas and experiences where visitors can get up close to certain animals, it is important to remember that the safety and welfare of the animals are a top priority. There are designated viewing areas and barriers to ensure a safe distance for both visitors and animals.

5. How long does it take to explore the entire zoo?

The time it takes to fully explore the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium can vary depending on your pace and level of interest. On average, visitors spend around 3-4 hours exploring the exhibits. It’s recommended to plan your visit accordingly to make the most of your time at the zoo.