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Passport to Africa
(left) Greater Kudu

The newest attraction is Passport to Africa. Built as the last phase of a major expansion project, this brilliant exhibit replicates the sub-Saharan savannah, an amazing place in Zimbabwe known as the Kalahari. Yes, the place where lions, zebras, and giraffes roam free. Well, this African adventure may be in El Paso, but it comes complete with one of the most captivating animals in the world - the African lion. Make no mistake, there is a pride of lions roaming this exhibit and they are magnificent!

Remember that staring contest? Here you can stand eye-to-eye with four lions at extremely close proximity. So close that you could touch them if not for the safety glass that separates man from beast. If you've never experienced the exhilaration of seeing a lion rushing towards you at full clip, then you're in for a big treat and a real rush. You can feel the energy in their intense stare. Goose bumps are almost guaranteed as you witness the power and majesty of the king of beasts.

Passport to Africa was built with painstaking detail. The simulated stone used for the enclosure mimics rocky outcroppings common to Zimbabwe and the Kalahari. The realism carries through in the El Paso Electric Kalahari Research Station that overlooks this section of the park. The simulated stone and the research station are perfect examples of the immersive experience that can be had at the El Paso Zoo.

Adjacent to the El Paso Electric Kalahari Research Station and viewable from its windows are the oh-so-loveable meerkat family. It's easy to see why these cute creatures had their own reality TV show. They're so charming you could spend hours watching their daily social interactions. And there is something interesting about how the meerkats seem to just blend in with the El Paso scenery and the zoo's surroundings. It seems like they've always been there.


Make your next stop on your visit the ancient lands of Asia, which feature the awesome Malayan tigers, Asian elephants, Sumatran orangutans, siamangs, Malaysian tapirs, and one of the zoo's rarest large animals - the critically endangered Amur leopard that originated from either Russia or China. This part of the park is also home to the extremely rare Przewalski's Horse, known as the last truly wild horse in the world. While in Asia, take some time to check the daily schedule for keeper talks about elephants and orangutans and grab a bite to eat at the Asian Grasslands Cafe.

The Americas

The North-and-South American section of the zoo features one of the most enjoyable animals in the world, the California sea lions. When you plan your visit, be sure to include time to experience the Sea Lion presentation. Also, be sure to visit the new reptile exhibit building, which is in the shape of...well, you'll see!

Responsible Zoology

There are hundreds of animal species at the zoo including mammals, reptiles, fish, birds, and invertebrates, which means you will more than likely be fascinated no matter where you chose to roam. But behind all of the entertainment is some pretty serious business. The El Paso Zoo is one of the few zoos in the United States accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. That accreditation doesn't come easy and is only reserved for zoo's that operate at the highest levels of animal welfare and conservation.

When you really think about it, man and nature are inseparable. We are connected through symbiotic relationships with other animals and share a mutual love and respect for our wilderness. This could explain why the caretakers at the El Paso Zoo have gone to such great lengths to create a living space as impressive and realistic as this for its animal guests.

When you visit, you'll surely feel the warm bond between man and beast, but you'll also come away with a zest for life - an indescribable thing that just might put a little wild back into your life.

General Zoo Information

The El Paso Zoo is a thirty five-acre home to about 228 species of animals. Approximately 420 mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, 100 fish and 300 invertebrates live in a variety of natural habitat exhibits including a Reptile House, South American Pavilion, Americas Aviary, Cisneros Paraje, Birds of Prey, Forest Atrium, Asian Grasslands and an Elephant Complex. The El Paso Zoo is a member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA). With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation.


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El Paso Zoo's Mission
Our mission is to celebrate the value of animals and natural resources and to create opportunities for people to rediscover their connection to nature.