Cheyenne Mountain Zoo named fourth best zoo in North America

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COLORADO SPRINGS — For the fourth straight year, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has been
voted one of the top ten zoos
in North America in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.

This year, America’s mountain Zoo was recognized in two categories:

  • #4 Best Zoo in North America (up from #6 in 2019)
  • 2 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America for its Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit (up from #5 in 2019).

“This ranking means even more to us this year, with the difficult times the Zoo has been going through in 2020,” said Bob Chastain, President, and CEO of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. “Even though the Zoo was closed due to virus restrictions for nearly three months, and we currently have limited capacity and other precautions in place, our fans and members still rally around us. To have that kind of community and nationwide support really means a lot.”

This is the second time that Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has been ranked as high as the 4th Best Zoo in North America. The first time was in 2018.

“This national recognition reminds us that the impact of our mission reaches beyond the city of Colorado Springs,” said Chastain. “We were nominated amongst a group of impressive organizations, in markets much larger than ours, which makes us even more proud to have been named the fourth-best zoo in North America.”

A panel of travel experts, recruited by USA TODAY editors, nominated 20 North American Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited zoos and exhibits, and supporters had a total of four weeks to cast their votes once per day for the nominees of their choice.

The online contest was initially open for voting March 16, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo closed to the public on March 17, and voting was temporarily paused due to the ongoing pandemic. Voting reopened June 14 through July 6.

The 2020 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Top Ten Best Zoos in North America, in ranking order, are:

  1. Fort Worth Zoo – Fort Worth
  2. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden – Cincinnati
  3. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium – Omaha, Neb.
  4. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – Colorado Springs
  5. Brevard Zoo – Melbourne, Fla.
  6. Audubon Zoo – New Orleans
  7. San Diego Zoo – San Diego
  8. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum – Tucson
  9. Dallas Zoo – Dallas
  10. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens – Palm Desert, Calif

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