A rhinocerous is one of many exotic animals at the Knoxville Zoo. ((courtesy, Knoxville Tourism and Sports Corporation))

The Knoxville Zoo is home to an eclectic collection of animals from across the world. First and foremost, it is considered by many to be the red panda capital of the Western Hemisphere. Ninety-three cubs have been born here in 30 years. The Black Bear Falls exhibit was recently named one of the best black bear exhibits in the United States. It is home to four bears and features trees, waterfalls, and streams, as well as a viewing area that offers a peek inside the bears' dens. Also worth checking out is the reptile collection, often called one of the best in the country. There are more than 400 reptiles representing over 80 species, and the zoo is known for its great success with breeding rare and endangered species. Other exhibits worth visiting are Chimp Ridge, which houses nine chimpanzees, and the White Rhino exhibit, where 28 calves have been born since the 1970s. Also check out the zoo's resident bull African elephant, Tonka. He weighs more than 15,000 pounds and is one of only a few mature bull elephants on exhibit in the country.

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Expert Review of Knoxville Zoo

Family Review of Knoxville Zoo

Away Travel Expert: Christine Loomis
FamilyExpert Rating 4.0 out of 5 Recommended for:
Children of all ages
FamilyExpert Tips & Helpful Hints
  • The Knoxville Zoo is one of the leading zoos of the southeast and some 800 animals call it home. If you have very young kids, stroller rentals are available. Ages two to 12 get a discount, those under two are free. Before or after your visit go online to blog with the zoo's spokesbird, Einstein, an African Grey Parrot.
  • Check out Kids Cove, the zoo's themed playground. Climb into a giant bird nest with eggs, walk on lily pads, play in a giant web, or learn how to milk a (faux) cow. Other activities include a dress-up area, interacting with Kids Zoo animals, and riding the zoo-themed carousel (extra charge).
  • Go to Meerkat Lookout and find the meerkat on guard duty. How can you tell? He's the one standing on his hind legs watching for predators. You can learn more about these fascinating creatures when zoo keepers offer a daily up-close and personal program in front of the exhibit.

3500 Knoxville Zoo Drive
Knoxville, Tennessee 37914

Visitor Information

Telephone Number: (865) 637-5331
The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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