I love to go to our Asheboro Zoo about an hour and a half away. About once or twice a year I go with my best friend to see what’s new or what we may have missed on the last trip. The zoo covers 500 acres with five miles of pathways covering multiple terrains for 1600 animals and 52,000 plants. There is a lot to see here!!
Various natural habitats for several different climates and zones of the world are represented here. One entrance leads you through an African village with gift shop, restaurants and then into the vast acreage of the Savannah, grassy plains with rhinoceroses, ostriches, antelope family animals, zebras, and giraffes. They wander around like it was home and seem quite content to do the things they would do in their home country: walk, run, eat, drink, ruminate and look around.
The other entrance has a similar set up of gifts shops, restaurants and bathrooms but the theme here is the North American lands. On the way down the walkway into the park there is a huge lake with a bridge from which you can see lily pads, frogs, fish and other swampy vegetation. There are sloping walkways all over the place for wheelchairs, strollers and rented motorized scooters.
Several of my favorite places to see were the actual swampland area complete with alligators…huge ones!! There is of course a safe elevated walkway above the toothy critters. The massive gators were lying so still for so long that the zoo put up a sign (See Photo)
I love the aviary where thousands of exotic plants exist and dozens of exotic birds, including the Scarlet Ibis. There are so many things to see in the climate controlled humid area. There are orchids of different kinds, banana trees, and staghorn ferns and so much more.
Two other sites I enjoy are the gorilla and chimpanzee lands. There are all kinds of trees fallen and standing with hills to climb and grassy plains for them to roam. Several baby gorillas have been born there. the wonderful part is you can see it all through a glass wall. The gorillas and chimpanzees can come right up to the window and look you in the eye, up close and personal. What an experience!
There are two main attractions close to the Wetlands of North America entrance. The harbor seals and the polar bears. They have their own separate areas of course but they have lots of room to swim, climb, hide out, stay cool and there are toys for the bears. The seals have frequent daily interactions with the care givers to keep them acclimated to being checked and fed.
In between the two entrances are roaming fields for elk, elephants, bison, and more of the North American four legged wild life. There are felines too like ocelots, and smaller cat family members. There is also a central area for sitting down to eat, see 4 D shows for kids, a merry go round, and more.
One of the niceties is transportation by buses that will take you from one large area to another when you need a break from all the walking.
This zoo is growing and is quite a delightful, educational experience! I can’t wait to see what will be there next time I go.