North Carolina Zoological Society
4401 Zoo Parkway
Asheboro, NC , 27205
|Hours of Operation: Closed Christmas day and during severe weather.
The Zoo is open:
April 1 - October 31 - 9am - 5pm
November 1 - March 31 - 9am - 4pm
|Located about 75 miles west of Raleigh in Asheboro, N.C. Zoo is nationally recognized as one of the nation’s finest zoos. It was the first American zoo designed from its inception around the "natural habitat" philosophy--presenting animals and plants in exhibits that closely resemble the habitats in which they would be found in the wild.
Among the most popular exhibits are those that display polar bears, sea lions, river otters, alligators, elephants, gorillas, baboons, rhinoceros, giraffes, and zebras. The 37-acre African Plains exhibit alone is as large a many entire zoos.
The 11-acre Prairie exhibit in the North American region showcases the zoo’s collection of bison and elk. The Sonora Desert, an indoor recreation of the famous desert of the American Southwest, is alive with roadrunners, rattlesnakes, gila monsters, tarantulas and many more fascinating denizens of that hot, dry climate.This was the nation’s first state-supported zoo and remains one of only two state zoos, the other located in Minnesota.
The N.C. Zoo is also the nation’s largest walk-through natural-habitat zoo. Its African and North American exhibit regions span more than 500 acres with more than five miles of walkways.
Another 900 acres are available for future development on this scenic site in the Uwharrie Mountains, considered by geologists to be one of the world’s oldest mountain ranges.
These beautiful hills are still called "mountains," but the tallest point on zoo grounds is Purgatory Mountain at 937 feet above sea level.
One of the zoo’s primary missions is to make visitors aware of the connections between humans and the world’s animals, plants and natural resources. Interpretive galleries and individual signs provide a wealth of information to make visits more enjoyable and educational.Numerous special events are held at the zoo to add another dimension to the visitor experience.
These include: the live birds of prey show "On the Wing"; an "Earth Day Celebration";"Migratory Bird Day"; "Holiday Lights"; and "Boo at the Zoo". "Street Rod Safari," a show of classic and collector automobiles is another zoo tradition. For event information check our calendar.
The best way to see the zoo is on foot, so you can explore the exhibits and trails. An internal tram is available to transport visitors between exhibit areas, but most animals are not visible from the trams. You can enter or exit by either the North American or African gates, where a shuttle bus can transport you to the area where you’re parked.
Zoo officials recommend taking a minimum of five hours to explore all that the park offers at a comfortable pace.
Other nearby attractions include more than 100 potters in the Seagrove community south of the zoo, as well as the Richard Petty Museum devoted to the "King" of stock car racing in Randleman and the N.C. Aircraft Museum. Of course, there is also the beautiful scenery and recreational opportunities of the Uwharrie Mountains region.
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