Phoenix Zoo: Ideal Time to Go + 8 Amazing Animals to See

One of the biggest nonprofit zoos in the US is the Phoenix Zoo. This means that the zoo receives its support from donors, admissions, memberships, and special events rather than from the government. Considering that the zoo is home to over 3,000 animals, including roughly 400 species that are threatened or endangered, this is astounding.

The Phoenix Zoo, which has been open since 1962, is a must-see in the region since it has a wide range of interesting animals and exhibits. However, what is the best time to visit? Discover more about eight of the incredible species that may be seen there by reading on.

When Is the Best Time to Visit the Zoo in Phoenix?

The greatest time to visit the zoo in many American cities is during the summer. This isn’t the case in Phoenix, Arizona, though. Arizona’s summers are scorching. The spring, winter, and fall are when you are most likely to have a great time and see creatures that are actively moving around.

If you do decide to visit during the summer, the best time to go is right after the zoo opens. It will be the coolest part of the day, and seeing the animals on their romp around is your greatest chance. They’ll probably be napping in the shade as the sun gets hotter later in the day.

The animals are at their most active in the morning, shortly after the zoo opens, regardless of the season you visit. You will be able to witness them venture from their sleeping areas to their daily locations when they discover food or other enrichment materials that the zookeepers have set out.

The zoo also holds a number of special events all year long, such as the annual 5K race held in January, ZooLights from November through January, Spooky Safari at the end of October, and the fundraiser ZooFari.

Concerning the Phoenix Zoo

455 North Galvin Parkway is where you can find the Phoenix Zoo in Papago Park. There are four main pathways in the zoo:

All of the common zoo species, like ostriches, lions, zebras, and giraffes, are housed on the Africa Trail.

The saguaro cactus, coyote, Sonoran pronghorn, and Mexican gray wolf are just a few of the native fauna and flora that may be seen along the Arizona Trail.

Along the Tropics Trail are the Bornean orangutan and Andean bear, as well as a verdant rainforest.

The well-known two-toed sloth and a petting zoo are features of the Children’s Trail.

8 Amazing Animals to See at the Phoenix Zoo

Expect to see all the typical large zoo animals at the Phoenix Zoo, including Sumatran tigers, lions, giraffes, and zebras. Some unusual species, like those found in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, can also be found in the zoo. With over 400 species to choose from, it was difficult to select only eight! These are some of the most well-known and fascinating species!

Komodo Dragon

The “Land of the Dragons” exhibit is located on the Tropics Trail. The Komodo dragon, the biggest kind of live lizard in the world, is kept there. Males can grow to weigh over 200 pounds and a maximum length of 10 feet.


At the 15,000-gallon pool at Stingray Bay, visitors may interact with and feed Cownose rays as they glide by. Prior to leaving, make sure. When this article was written, Stingray Bay was closed for renovations.

Squirrel Monkeys

The nation’s only walk-through squirrel monkey exhibit is located at the Phoenix Zoo. Squirrel monkeys are very smart despite their small size. Visitors can watch the squirrel monkeys scuttling across their verdant habitat at the display.

Two-Toed Sloth

Don’t pass up the chance to meet Fernando, the internet-famous sloth, along the Children’s Trail. This two-toed sloth from Linne is so beloved that he even has a blog. Like all two-toed sloths, Fernando spends most of his time curled up on his back and sleeping.

Andean Bears

Introducing the actual Paddington Bear. The animal on which Paddington Bear is based is the Andean Bear. The only bears native to South America, or as Paddington refers to it, “Darkest Peru,” are these spectacled bears.

Bornean Orangutans

Only the island of Borneo in South East Asia is home to these orangutans. Four of them live at the zoo: Michael, Bess, Wgasa, and Rayma.

Galapagos and Aldabra Giant Tortoises

Visit the enclosure housing the giant tortoises, the Aldabra and Galapagos. Mopey and Mary, the parents of a Galapagos tortoise, hatched an egg in 2022. It’s incredible that Mary and Mopey are 90 years old.

Big Cats of Arizona

The big cats that are native to Arizona are highlighted in this exhibit on the Arizona Trail, which includes mountain lions and jaguars. Since it’s difficult to see these secretive animals in the wild, this display offers visitors a rare opportunity to get a glance.