An Encounter With Wild Life & Nature At The Dallas Zoo
Wild Life At The Dallas Zoo
The Dallas Zoo is located at 650 South R. L. Thorton Freeway. It only three miles from downtown Dallas and the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center. It is a major tourist attraction. It saw over a million visitors in 2015.
The Dallas Zoo covers 106 acres. This makes it the largest zoological park in Texas. It was established in 1888, though it was originally in City Park before moving to Fair Park a century ago. That makes the Dallas Zoo the oldest one in Texas. It is managed by the Dallas Zoological Society or DZS. The DZS was established in 1955. This nonprofit supported the zoo, though it became profitable by the 1960s.
A Dallas Area Rapid Transit or DART station opened in 1996. That was on the first phase of the Red Line. In 1997, a chimpanzee exhibit opened. In 1999, it opened a tiger habitat.
In 2010, the Giants of the Savanna exhibit opened. This exhibit contains elephants, cheetahs, warthogs, African lions and a giraffe herd. It was one of the first in the world to include several large species to recreate the African savanna. You can go on a one mile monorail ride called the Wilds of Africa Safari Adventure around the exhibit. The exhibit received an award from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in 2011. The Wilds of Africa section is so large that the Zoo is split into two major regions, the “Zoo North” and “Wilds of Africa”. A thirty million dollar bond package funded the exhibit.
Zoo North is the original part of the zoo. The two areas are connected by a tunnel that goes underneath Clarendon Drive. The Zoo North area includes the petting zoo and Discovery House. And there is a large animatronic dinosaur exhibit. That opened in 2015.
Today, the Dallas Zoo is home to more than 400 species. The Dallas Zoo participates in more than forty Species Survival Plans. For example, it is seeking to breed and protect African elephants, African penguins, African wild dogs, black rhinos, chimpanzees and golden lion tamarin monkeys. The Dallas Zoo has partnered with the Okapi Conservation – Epulu Research Station, the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force, and Chimp Haven.
The Dallas Zoo hosts regular conservation events and fundraisers. The Running for Rhinos marathon raises money to protect wild rhinos. The Safari Nights zoo concert season raises money for the zoo. They have Dollar Days in July and November to bring in the public. The Dallas Zoo is part of several city-wide recreational pass programs. For example, the Teen All-Access Pass allows teenagers to visit the Dallas Zoo, Dallas Arboretum, Dallas Museum of Art, and Shakespeare Dallas along with other cultural venues. With a Dallas City PASS, you’ll save up to forty percent on tickets.
The Dallas zoo is served by three bus lines and isn’t far from the DART red line. If you are driving to the zoo, you can take the I-35 East frontage road. It is on the frontage road between Marsalis Avenue and Ewing Avenue. If you’re coming south on I-35, at the Ewing Avenue stoplight, take the U-turn to reach the northbound frontage road and the Dallas Zoo entrance. If you’re headed north on I-35, take the Marsalis Avenue / Ewing Avenue exit. It is just before the Beckley Avenue overpass.