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A to Z Texas: Z is for Zoo in Fort Worth

Hyacinth Macaws at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Hyacinth Macaws at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

Fort Worth Zoo – An Award Winning Top Attraction

The Fort Worth Zoo consistently ranks among the top ten zoos in America, occasionally taking first place. Zagat Surveys even named it 19th out of the 50 Overall Top-rated Attractions in the entire USA!

The zoo has come a long way since it first opened in 1909. Back then, it only had a handful of exotic species. These days, the zoo is teeming with animals. It is easy to spend an entire day here, and still not make it to every exhibit. In summer, you’ll find lots of shade, which is a plus here in Texas. Below is a brief description of all the different sections to this tremendous zoo:

Museum of Living Art in Fort Worth, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Museum of Living Art in Fort Worth, Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

Museum of Living Art (MOLA)

This one-of-a-kind herpetarium is billed by the Fort Worth Zoo as, “a museum where the artworks looks back at you.” It’s a fairly new exhibit, having opened in 2010, and features reptiles from all over the world.

Unlike other museums, you can even get a chance to touch some of the “artwork,” since zookeepers occasionally allow guests to handle certain creatures – the friendly ones!

Hands on experience at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Hands on experience at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

African Savannah

Here you will find rhinos, giraffes, zebras, warthogs, cheetahs and more. An elevated boardwalk offers good photos ops and viewing from above.

World of Primates

This 2.5 acre section has both indoor and outdoor areas chock full of chimps, gorillas, orangutans and other primates. The interior of the exhibit emulates a tropical rain forest habitat, while a boardwalk leads through the outside.

Flamingos at the Fort Worth Zoo (photo Tui Snider)
Flamingos at the Fort Worth Zoo (photo Tui Snider)

Flamingo Bay

Although the flock only numbers 75 or so, the Fort Worth zoo staff uses mirrors to trick the birds into thinking they are part of a much larger group! This clever deception is one of many reasons the zoo has such a successful flamingo breeding program here. On one visit, I got to see zoo staff hand feeding some young birds.

Parrot Paradise

This is one of my favorite sections of the Fort Worth Zoo. Colorful parakeets, cockatiels and other birds fly freely throughout this outdoor aviary. The best part is that you can buy feeding sticks, then coax them into perching on your hand for a snack.

Fort Worth Zoo outdoor aviary (photo by Tui Snider)
Fort Worth Zoo outdoor aviary (photo by Tui Snider)

Texas Wild!

This section focuses on the tremendous variety of habitats, plants and animals that are part of Texas. Here you will find foxes, bobcats, alligators, bears, pelicans, prairie dogs and, of course, rattlesnakes.

Australian Outback

This section features everything from a mock up of the Great Barrier Reef to kangaroos and wallabies.

Feeding birds at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Feeding birds at the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

Raptor Canyon

This outdoor aviary features a wide variety of birds of prey: condors, eagles, owls, vultures and more.

Meerkat Mounds

Meerkats are just as cute up close and in person as they are in cartoons. This cleverly designed exhibit allows you to watch these highly social creatures through a plexiglass wall, as well as an overlooking boardwalk.


Home to a flock of African black-footed penguins, this exhibit often smells a little fishy – but who cares? Frolicking penguins are fun to watch, especially at feeding time.

Asian Falls

Tigers (both striped and white ones!), sun bears, Asian elephants, tufted deer, rhinos and many other species native to Asia are features in this section, which winds its way through the hillside.

Who is watching who? At the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas (photo by Tui Snider)
Who is watching who? At the Fort Worth Zoo in Texas (photo by Tui Snider)

Restaurants at the Fort Worth Zoo

You will find snack stands throughout the entire zoo. No matter which exhibit you are visiting when hunger strikes, possibilities abound.

My favorite place to grab a bite at the zoo is in the Crocodile Cafe, which is right next to the MOLA reptile house. What I love about this place is the big plexiglass wall on one side where you can watch creatures swim by as you eat your lunch.

Hours, Admission, Parking & Address

Summer Hours: Open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with extended hours on weekends.

Winter Hours: Open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with shorter hours on holidays.

Admission Prices:
Adults (age 13-64) $12.00
Children (age 3-12) $9.00
Children under 3 years of age are free
Seniors (age 65 and older)$9.00

Insider Tip for Fort Worth Zoo admission: Half-price admission on Wednesdays!

1989 Colonial Parkway
Fort Worth, TX 76110

Parking: Parking at the zoo costs $5.00 per vehicle.

Please note: While all the above information is accurate as of this writing, hours, prices and so forth are subject to change. C’est la vie, baby!

More A to Z blog posts

Phew! I made it all the way to Z of the 2013 A to Z blogging challenge. I’ve had so much fun researching and writing these posts. I’ve also really enjoyed mixing and mingling with other A to Z bloggers both here, on their blogs and on Twitter. So much fun thanks to a great idea from Arlee Bird.

To see what other people posted during the challenge, click on this link: A to Z blogging challenge. There are so many great blogs out there to read and enjoy!

Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. The Columbus Zoo with Jack Hanna is an awesome Zoo. I always feel lucky to have such a wonderful zoo, such a wonderful place for families. We used to have a membership when our daughter was young so we could go often. They’ve all gotten to be so much more expensive, but I love how most of the good zoo’s have changed from just having cages like I remember as a child. Seeing the animal in a more natural habit is far better.

  2. Wow the zoo sounds amazing. Congrats on finishing the challenge. :-)

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi DL,

      Thank you for the Liebster Award! I think you are the 3rd person to nominate me during the #AtoZchallenge, actually. Hehe!

      Once again, thank you for thinking of me. I’ll let you know when my post goes up.

      Wasn’t that AtoZ Challenge fun? I’m already looking forward to next year.


  3. This zoo looks amazing. I went to one zoo that wasn’t a zoo at all when I went to Texas. I believe it was the Dallas Aquarium. I mean, it was an AQUARIUM, but we went through hours of land animal exhibits spiraling down until we finally hit sea level. It was hilarious because my friends and I were wondering where all the fish were! I can’t complain, though, that is where I got to meet and feed a sloth named Leno. I LOVE SLOTHS!!!

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Nicole,

      Oooh! Sounds to me like you went Shark Gazing at the Dallas Aquarium. I am so overdue for another visit there. I love how the birds fly around inside, like it’s a big terrarium.


      • Yes, that’s right! The birds were flying around. It is really quite an amazing place. I just stand by the fact that it is misnamed! It should be a zoo!! :D

  4. I’ve heard the Fort Worth Zoo is amazing. San Antonio has a great zoo, too. With shade LOL.

    Thanks so much for putting all these great Texas ‘thangs’ together into a fantastic A to Z!

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Carol,

      Yes, I have come to value shade like never before since moving to Texas!

      I didn’t know about the San Antonio zoo. I really want to get down that way and check out all the sights!

      Now that the #AtoZchallenge is over, I’ll finally have time to read your book, Solomon’s Compass. I’m happy to have met you!


    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Hi Rhonda,

      Thank you! It’s a very well thought-out space.


  5. Zoos are so much fun to go to. No two are alike so you’re always bound to see some new animal.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Yes, Patricia!

      I haven’t been to the zoo for a couple years now. Digging up these photos really makes me want to go back.


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