Monday, May 4, 2015

Dallas Zoo’s Giants of the Savanna Named #3 Zoo Habitat in the Nation

Everything's bigger and better in Texas - and that includes the Dallas Zoo! After a month-long public vote, the Dallas Zoo’s Giants of the Savanna has just been been named the No. 3 zoo habitat in the nation -- and the best in Texas -- in USA Today’s 10Best travel rankings. It’s just the latest award for the one-of-a-kind habitat, the only one in the nation where elephants mingle alongside giraffes, zebras, ostriches, impalas and guineafowl, as they do in Africa.

The successful mixed-species project took three years to develop after the opening of the award-winning habitat in 2010. The Savanna is home to the Zoo’s five “Golden Girls” elephants, as well as the 13-member giraffe herd, including three-week-old viral Animal Planet star Kipenzi. In addition, Giants of the Savanna includes separate habitats for African lions, cheetahs, warthogs and red river hogs. “The Giants of the Savanna was a game-changer for our zoo,” said Gregg Hudson, president and chief executive officer of the Dallas Zoo.

“It was our first major initiative after we privatized in 2009, and over the past five years it’s become an international model for human care of elephants and giraffes," said Hudson, "Zoo experts from all over the world visit Giants of the Savanna and our staff to see this habitat. We’re honored that the public and USA Today’s 10Best list also recognize its unique qualities.”

The Dallas Zoo is the largest and oldest zoo in Texas, sitting on 106 acres, and is currently undergoing a renaissance unprecedented in its 127-year history. The zoo was named to three separate “Best U.S. Zoos” lists in the past year, as well as one “Best in the World” list. Attendance is on a pace to break records for a sixth consecutive year, with more than 1 million guests expected this fiscal year. The current Giants of the Jurassic animatronic dinosaur exhibit, complementing Giants of the Savanna over on the ZooNorth half of the park, has been enormously popular in its first month. The exhibit, featuring more than 25 animatronic dinosaurs, plus dig boxes, water-squirting cannons and fossil displays, is open through Sept. 7.

The zoo is located at 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway (I-35 at Marsalis) and is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, visit or call 469.554.7500. DART is the official transportation provider of the Dallas Zoo, and its Red Line stops at the Zoo’s main entrance.