See the Animals
The best way to see more than 1,600 animals and 52,000 plants is to walk the Park. If you tire easily, stroll at a relaxed pace and enjoy the woods around you! Major exhibits are about eight minutes apart and shaded benches, restrooms and water fountains are located throughout the Park for your comfort. You can find the locations of restrooms and water fountains on the free Visitor Guide you receive at the admission booth.
The N.C. Zoo features natural habitat exhibits. This provides an environment in which an animal feels more comfortable.
Throughout your day at the Zoo, be sure to take your time at the exhibit overlooks because many animals blend in with their surroundings naturally.
Some of the North Carolina Zoo's animals, particularly the African species, are unable to tolerate very cold weather. For this reason, certain animals may not be on exhibit if temperatures or wind-chill factors are below 45 degrees F. Precipitation can also impact animal-exhibit status. If temperatures exceed the 45-degree minimum, affected animals may be placed on exhibit later in the day. Animals in indoor exhibits are not impacted by temperatures and may be enjoyed by visitors year round.
Here are some tips from animal keepers to help you see the animals.
- As a general rule, animals tend to be more active in the morning than in the afternoon.
- The animals will not respond to calls, whistles or tapping on the glass. Your best bet is to remain quiet and watchful.
- Some animals tend to stay in the back of their exhibit near the Zoo's closing. In large exhibits, animals might be harder to see at the end of the day.
- Many animals use “camouflage techniques,” so be patient and look closely.
- Use your senses, like hearing, to help you find an animal. In the Aviary, listen for the rustle of leaves. Look up in the canopy and near the ground to find birds.