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Detroit Zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life is No. 2 in the USA Today 10 Best Zoo Exhibits

Arctic Ring of Life

Ok, the Philadelphia Zoo’s Big Cat Crossing beat out the Detroit Zoo’s Arctic Ring of Life as the No. 1 best zoo exhibit in the USA Today 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards. Our zoo was No. 2, but it was a tough fight.

Detroiters stepped and voted … and voted … and voted … for four weeks. We watched the voting daily and saw the No.1 and No. 2 positions change often.

“It was a well-fought race battle between the top two zoo exhibits, and the finish was as close as can be,” USA Today said on its website.

Big Cat Crossing at Philadephia Zoo

Big Cat Crossing at Philadephia Zoo

The Big Cat Crossing, which debuted in spring 2014, features a 330-foot mesh pathway extending above the main visitor path allowing visitors to see a tiger strolling over their heads. That is pretty cool.

The Detroit Zoo‘s Arctic Ring of Life is the largest polar bear exhibit in North America. Polar bears and sea lions swim above and around visitors.  We may be prejudice, but we think that is even cooler.

Detroit’s done pretty well in these USA Today 10 Best contests.  It was ranked the Best Sports City in the US in the USA Today 10Bestcontest Reader’s Contest . The Detroit RiverFront was in the Top 10 in the USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice contest for Best American Riverfront.

rc-badgeHere are the top 10 winners for the best zoo exhibit:

  1. Big Cat Crossing – Philadelphia Zoo
  2. Arctic Ring of Life – Detroit Zoo
  3. Giants of the Savanna – Dallas Zoo
  4. Museum of Living Art – Fort Worth Zoo
  5. Russia’s Grizzly Coast – Minnesota Zoo
  6. Sea Lion Sound – St. Louis Zoo
  7. Congo Gorilla Forest – Bronx Zoo
  8. Desert Loop Trail – Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
  9. African Elephant Crossing-Cleveland Metroparks Zoo
  10. Animal Care Center – Busch Gardens Tampa

Additional nominated exhibits included Elephant Odyssey at the San Diego Zoo, Benson Predator Ridge at the Denver Zoo, Monkey Village at the Phoenix Zoo, World of the Insect at the Cincinnati Zoo, African Plains at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Desert Dome/Kingdoms of the Night at the Henry Doorly Zoo, Polar Frontier at the Columbus Zoo, The O Line at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Discovery Tram Tour at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park and Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando.

Click on the links for each of these zoos. All of them are worth visiting if you are in the area.

The exhibits were chosen by experts from the Zoo Association of America and the International Zoo Educators Association. They combed the U.S. to find the best of the best zoo exhibits (excluding aquariums) that engage the visitor while keeping the welfare of the animal residents paramount.

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