We had a few transport hiccups getting to this zoo from Florence but it was worth it once we got there. The first problem was after arriving at Pistoia Train Station from Florence where we were confronted with a busy bus terminal outside with no clear signs of which line number to take.
After eventually finding a bus company office and buying tickets (across from the station) we were told to catch either a number 29 or 59 bus. Many of the buses had no number, rather destinations so we had to ask disinterested bus drivers, "Andiamo Zoologico?" After 1.5 hours of this we gave up and hopped in a taxi, which is what we advise - TAKE A TAXI TO THE ZOO FROM THE STATION! It only takes 10 minutes and 11 euros.
Giardino Zoologico di Pistoia is a small zoo that seems a little underfunded. Several of the exhibits, like bears, wolves, parrots and gibbons were simply not there and there was no explanation given.
The enclosures for the elephants, rhinoceros and hippos seemed too small and made us feel sad for them. On the plus side we were able to see the tiger, lions and panthers up very close so this was thrilling. Also it is possible to feed the baby goats which was great fun for our daughter.
There is a good cafe here with reasonable prices too so you can take a break to refresh yourselves.