The Nashville zoo is the home of over 260 animal species from all over the world, and many are endangered. It is accredited by the prestigious Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry.
Our Zoo in Nashville is working with this association to scientifically manage conservation-breeding efforts throughout the world. The Zoo is a non-profit organization and is built on a historic farm called Grassmere.
The Zoo strives to provide the, highest quality of care for their animals and contributing to the support of endangered species worldwide.
The Zoo is in the middle of a major expansion and it takes time to develop it to its full potential. It moved from a 100 acre site in Cheatham County to its present 200 acre site. The move was a merger with the zoo and the Grassmere Wildlife Park. The Nashville wildlife park was already located on the Grassmere Farm. The site will be continually improved until the master plan is complete.
One of the exhibits is an indoor exhibit called Unseen New World opened in 1998. It has more than 250 residents which display approximately 75 species of reptiles, amphibians, insects, mammals and birds.
The "Jungle Gym" is a 66,000 square foot play area for the kids under 42 inches tall, and a rest area for the adults. It has a rubber bouncy floor and animals to climb on. Featuring 35 foot "Tree of Life" tree house, super slides, cargo netting, swings, giant snake tunnel, and bat cave.
Out front there are 2 crocodile figures in the concrete that look like the concrete is the water, kind of cool. It would be a good idea to bring extra change of clothes for the kids. There are some water spitting animals to cool off the kids on a hot summer day.
The ZooFari Outpost is close by to get snacks and drinks, and rest rooms are close by. A first aid station is close by, a themed information booth with attendant.
Located just past the Gibbon Islands is the Nashville Zoo "Meerkat Exhibit". The meerkats are cute little exotic animals that have a personality all their own. Weather they are basking in the sun or standing upright in guard position, they tend to stay close to their holes.
There is a tunnel made for kids to a screened in cage just big enough to stick your head out of. It puts you in the middle of the meerkat area, so the kids can get a closer view. It is found by walking around the exhibit but still on the path. The meerkat are a part of the mongoose family and they live in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana and South Africa.
A group of meerkats are called a mob, gang or clan. A clan often contains about 20 meerkats but there are some superfamilies that have more than 50. They can live to be 12 to 14 years old, can weigh 1-1/2 pounds and grow 12 to 14 inches tall.
The "African Bongo Exhibit" is located just past Nashville Zoo Critter Encounters Petting Park. The largest of the African forest antelope and is mostly nocturnal. Both sexes have horns. They will grow to about 4 ft high and can weigh as much as 800 pounds.
There are the largest of the African forest antelope and both sexes have horns. They will grow to about 4 ft high and can weigh as much as 800 pounds. There are several sub-species of the Bongo whose population is on the decline. The Bongo doesn't move around much and this is probably because in the wild remaining still kept them invisible to the predators.
"African Red River Hog Exhibit" is found at the entrance of the Nashville Zoo African Savannah. The Red River Hog is also known as a brush pig. This hog is found in the forested areas of central and sub-Saharan Africa. They typically live in herds of 6 to 20 members and led by a dominant boar.
The adults weigh up to 200 pounds and they eat mostly roots and turnips but supplement its diet with whatever it can find. It is mostly nocturnal and a good swimmer. It spends most of its time rooting around in the dirt looking for food.
The "African Elephant Exhibit" is located in the Nashville Zoo African Savannah. African elephants live in many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, although their range is now broken into patches. They can live in many kinds of habitats such as deserts, forests, open grasslands, river valleys and marshes.
They are the second tallest and the heaviest in the animal kingdom. Growing up to 13 foot tall and weighing up to 13,000 pounds. They will eat up to 660 pounds of vegetation and 50 gallons of water. The lifespan of male elephants are 25 years old, and 41 for females.
The African Elephants society is a matriarchal, which means the oldest female leads the clan of usually less than 12. The Elephants don't move around and spend much of their time foraging for food or keeping cool.
The "African Giraffe Exhibit" is located in the farthest part of the Nashville Zoo African Savannah. These giraffes are Masai Giraffes and are the largest sub-species of giraffe. They are the tallest land mammal where the males grow to a height of 18 feet and weigh as much as 4200 pounds. They can run up to 35 mph and live to be 30 years old.
They spend most of their time foraging and keeping cool. They also have to keep a look out for predators. Most of the Giraffe young die in the first year of life due to predators. Predators don't have it easy hunting giraffe because their hooves are sharp enough to stab predators such as hyenas or lions. The kick can crush the skulls of lions or shatter their spine.
"Critter Encounters" is a fenced in interactive exhibit where you can pet a variety of tame animals. It was created at the Nashville Zoo by Franklin Industries and Tennessee's BEST college savings programs for the children.
There are some African pygmy goats that love to be petted. Some of the larger goats will take papers out of your hands so hide them in your pockets. Once an animal has had enough petting they escape to an animal only area.
After you have made it half way through the Nashville Zoo, something to eat or drink might sound good. "Snake Bites" Snack Stand has a variety of food and drinks such as hot dogs, large pretzels, and popcorn just to name a few.
There are shaded tables nearby to eat at and a condiment table.
It is a nice place to watch the other visitors in the park and catch a
cool breeze from the shade of the trees or the umbrellas of the tables.
To get more Nashville Zoo Information about the Schedule of Events, the Zoo itself and even becoming a Member.
The location of the Zoo is 6 miles south of Nashville at 3777 Nolensville Road, Nashville, TN 37211