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“An Enjoyable Zoo with a diverse selection of animals to view”
Review of Zoo Knoxville

Zoo Knoxville
Ranked #5 of 199 things to do in Knoxville
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Fun on the outside and serious about animals on the inside, Zoo Knoxville is committed to giving our guests an unforgettable experience.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed October 9, 2011

In my opionon you should not listen to other peoples negative reviews about this zoo. It was well worth the $19.95 admission, and on average this price is comparable for zoos of this size. Being able to see the large array of animals and to see them being very active made it an enjoyable experience. People need to remember your admission is not to profit the "owner" of the zoo, it goes towards the care of the animals! Personally I am an animal lover so I spent about 3 hours at the zoo, the exhibits are large which means happy active animals that you can watch for hours!

Thank OhThePlacesYouWillGo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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955 - 959 of 996 reviews

Reviewed September 28, 2011

The price was $19.95 per person for anyone over 12 years old. Over HALF the animals were not in their exhibits, The two issues together made me and may people in the zoo angry at best.
I know I will never visit again. I will save my zoo visits for the super zoo that is Free in St Louis, Missouri.

Just be warned you will go broke at the Knoxville TN Zoo. Not for the budget minded person.
Not family friendly at all considering the cost as well as animal viewing.

2  Thank Joe_Max_2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tina R, Public Relations Manager at Zoo Knoxville, responded to this reviewResponded September 30, 2011

We're so sorry to hear that your visit to Knoxville Zoo was less-than-perfect. We have just recently completed renovations on several exhibits, with several more in the works, but unfortunately we haven't begun demolition of the old exhibits yet, and that can give the impression that we have empty exhibits. In the interim, we are using signage to help visitors find the animals' new homes. I do apologize for any miscommunication or confusion. All the animals go out into their outdoor habitats during the day, although they do have the option to move to more secluded areas of the habitat if they need a little "down time". Additionally, many of our animal areas, such as the elephant barn, gorillas and chimpanzees, have indoor viewing areas as well.

Knoxville Zoo's admission prices are comparable to other area attractions and since our zoo is 86% self-funded, we rely on our admission prices, as well as souvenir and concession sales, to care for our animals and facilities. We do offer family memberships that provide free admission to Knoxville Zoo for an entire year, which are a very affordable way to not only visit our zoo, but more than 130 other zoos and aquariums across the country, and many of our guests in East Tennessee opt to become zoo members to enjoy the discounts it offers.

Again, we're very sorry we didn't meet your expectations, and appreciate you taking the time to provide your feedback on how we can improve upon our visitors experience.

Tina Rolen
Assistant Director of Marketing

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

We have been members of the Knoxville Zoo for several years, but last year we weren't able to renew due to family medical issues. We regained our membership this year, and were very surprized at all the changes taking place!! They have added extra mist areas around the non-shaded spots (which was great as it was well over 90 degrees). They were in the process of building a large cat area building and redoing some of the areas that house those animals now. Hopefully we'll get back there soon and see the new building (an employee told us it would be open in about a month).

We were also finally able to catch the animal show in the ampitheater. It was really cute, and my kids loved Einstein! They also loved the Wee Play area and the Kids Cove. The camel rides went over well with one of them. Personally, once was enough for me. We enjoyed some of the Zoo Chats as well, especially me.

My advice would be that if you go to the Zoo, it's best to go early in the morning or later in the day. We got there right around 11:15 this time (which is later than usual for us), and most of the animals were in their holding areas for meal time. We actually rewalked some areas so we could see all the animals.

1  Thank kymom40914
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

I have been to the Knoxville Zoo several times. On this occasion I took my little niece and newphew. Luckily I had a free child coupon with adult admission, so the total admission for the three of us was around $40 with parking.

To start with, we arrived around 10 AM, with the Zoo having opened at 930. Parking was already fairly full, turns out there was a high number of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts visiting on this date, which was lovely- cooler weather, less than 80 degrees F and sunny. The ticket line was long and slow, then the entrance into the zoo was also long and slow. If you are not using coupons (which I highly suggest) you can buy tickets on-line or in local Kroger stores.

First stop- the bear enclosure- no bears, which would be a theme throughout the rest of the day. I can certainly understand in heat or cold that animals need protection from the elements, but the weather was fabulous. Major animals not on display- bears, chimps, camels, and there were several minor empty enclosures. Many of the exhibits had signs saying they were closed for updates so hopefully this is a temporary issue, but they could have warned patrons or planned upgrades to minimize the number of animals off display at any given time.

The Knoxville Zoo is kid friendly with many activities, signs at kid eye level and a Wee Play area where kids can explore different jobs in the zoo through play. The Zoo does allow picnic lunches to be brought in and there are picnic tables located in a few areas throughout the zoo. The carousel operators were very friendly, although the rides are $2 each and very short in duration. All and all, it took us about 3 hours to go through the Zoo, the kids were mostly entertained, I got some exercise, but as a "zoo" destination, the Knoxville Zoo fell flat. Riverside Zoo in Columbia, SC, is about the same size and I am much more impressed with that facility.

2  Thank Nomad413
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 3, 2011

My husband and I love zoo's and sadly on our vacation with our 4 children we visited this zoo. It is by far our least favorite zoo. I did not think the names of the animals were displayed very well. We had to look around alot to read about what we were seeing. Many of the animals were not in their habitats. While they are working to improve the exhibits, they are quite poor as of now.

The zoo was good about having mist for hot days, but the price tag for this zoo is way to high. And then they charge you for parking!

We will pass on a repeat visit to this zoo!

3  Thank Kloesmom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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