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5 Inspiring Reasons to Visit Denver Zoo

With more than 3,000 animals spanning 400-plus species, Denver Zoo is the wildest outdoor adventure in Colorado’s capital city. From Zoo Lights to friendly stingrays and beyond, the 80-acre campus has something inspiring for everyone. 

Denver Zoo's newest arrival: a baby rhino
Denver Zoo's newest arrival: a baby rhino
Learn about the Zoo's all-male herd of Asian elephants.
Learn about the Zoo's all-male herd of Asian elephants.
Feed a giraffe on an Up-Close Animal Encounter.
Feed a giraffe on an Up-Close Animal Encounter.
Visit the Zoo for Nature Connects®, Art with LEGO® Bricks.
Visit the Zoo for Nature Connects®, Art with LEGO® Bricks.
Denver Zoo's baby lion
Denver Zoo's baby lion
See the active mandrills on your next visit.
See the active mandrills on your next visit.
Sea lions at a demonstration
Sea lions at a demonstration
Take your family to Zoo Lights, a Denver tradition.
Take your family to Zoo Lights, a Denver tradition.

1. Baby Boom

Nothing warms the heart like an adorable zoo baby, and Denver Zoo has had quite the boom! As you explore, be on the lookout for newcomers like Jack the lesser kudu, Hagrid and Sprout the Bactrian camels, Kylo the Grevy’s zebra, Kesi the mandrill, Joona the greater one-horned rhino, Cerah the orangutan and two lion cubs (half-siblings to Tatu).

They’re all thriving, and it’s fun to see their unique personalities coming through. During your visit, you’ll learn why each of these youngsters is vital to the survival of their species — and how Denver Zoo participates in an international effort to save wildlife for future generations.

2. Friends With Fins

If you visit between April and October, don’t miss Stingray Cove™: a new interactive experience that gives you the opportunity to touch and feed gentle stingrays and sharks, at their discretion, as they swim freely in their 15,000-gallon habitat. It’s home to safe-to-touch species like cownose and southern stingrays, along with gentle bonnethead and bamboo sharks — be ready for a surprisingly strong sensation as the stingrays suction up their fishy snack from your submerged palm!

3. Wild Winter Wonders

Zoo Lights has been making magic, memories, and even marriages for 30 amazing years — and you won’t want to miss this year’s historic celebration. Presented by Your Hometown Toyota Stores, this illuminating event transforms Denver Zoo into Colorado's wildest winter wonderland. Enjoy more than a million lights sparkling over 80 acres, plus VIP packages, unforgettable Animal Encounters and a host of special measures to keep your family safe and healthy. Tickets online only.

Before your visit, be sure to download Denver Zoo’s free mobile app. Whether you’re crazy for capuchins, go gaga for grizzlies or are even mildly obsessed with any animal, with a digital map at your fingertips and GPS capabilities, you’ll always know where you are — and how to find your faves.

4. Cutting-Edge Care

Reason for further excitement: early in 2021, the zoo will cut the ribbon on its brand-new Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Animal Hospital: a 22,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility that will revolutionize the organization’s veterinary care. In addition to cutting-edge diagnostic equipment, advanced surgical suites and specialized holding areas to accommodate the needs of 3,000 unique species, the new hospital is equipped with video technology that gives guests a front-row seat to many fascinating procedures.

5. Conservation Champions

Did you know every visit to Denver Zoo not only helps care for the 3,000 wild animals under their care in Denver, but also supports the organization’s critical work around the globe? The zoo manages five Field Conservation programs on four continents. Denver Zoo’s internationally recognized team has traveled to South Africa to help save abandoned flamingo chicks and to New Zealand to study the territories of the endangered kea. There are even opportunities to help in Colorado, with the Front Range Pika Project, in which citizen scientists are helping study the movement of this valuable (and adorable) species.

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