The Fort Worth Zoo plugged along under the management of the City of Fort Worth for more than eight decades. But when the Fort Worth Zoological Association assumed control of day-to-day operations in 1991, it marked the beginning of a transformation. Since then the zoo has earned praise from Family Life magazine and USA Today as one of the top spots in the country to see the world’s most exotic animals.
The Zoological Association has added more than a dozen permanent exhibits and facilities. Start by checking out some of our closest non-human cousins at the World of Primates, a 2.5-acre exhibit with chimps, gorillas, and colobus monkeys housed in an atrium. As you head out onto the boardwalk, you’ll catch a few more colorful sights, such as bright-faced mandrills, orangutans, and white-cheeked gibbons. Asian Falls is where you’ll find the always-popular elephants, tigers, and rhinos, while Raptor Canyon, though it sounds like something out of Jurassic Park, is home to a handful of birds of prey, such as Crowned Eagles, Andean Condors, and Milky Eagle Owls. Throughout the rest of the zoo, you can find cheetahs, giraffes, kangaroos, penguins, dozens of species of fish and birds, and much, much more.
Peek inside the Texas Wild! exhibit, where there are dozens of animals native to the state: snakes and lizards from out west, ferrets and prairie dogs from the Panhandle plains, river otters from swampy East Texas, and jaguars and ocelots from the state’s southern tip. Guests can also take in a quick film at the Lone Star Mining Company Movie House; go for a ride on the Country Carousel; or get up close and personal with goats, calves, and chickens at the Texas Wild! petting zoo.
Texas Wild! is also home to the Playbarn, where rambunctious kids can dress as their favorite animal and expend some energy. Or take them to the Australian Outback habitat and see if they’ll brave the 25-foot-tall rock climbing wall known as Tasmanian Tower. Food options abound, including the new Crocodile Cafe with Tex-Mex, burgers, ice cream, and vegetarian options.