Among Atlanta’s most popular attractions, Zoo Atlanta is one of the most beloved. The zoo started as a traveling circus that eventually ran out of money and was purchased by a wealthy Atlantan. It was there, in 1889, that the Zoo Atlanta opened in Grant Park, one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods. Local philanthropist Asa G. Candler, Jr. added to the zoo’s family when he donated animals from his private collection.
An infant gorilla named Willie B. joined Zoo Atlanta in 1961 and became the zoo’s most beloved resident. The zoo became privatized in the 1980s, which led to further improvements upon the facilities. The new millennium saw the arrival of giant pandas Lun Lun and Yang Yang, on loan from China. Willie B. passed away at the age of 42. In 2013, two panda cubs were born, making them some of the first to be born in captivity.
Be sure to see the giant pandas, as well as the rhinos, who recently had an addition to the family. The sun bears and giraffes are also worth a stop. There’s also a new reptile pavilion.
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If You Go
Zoo Atlanta is located at 800 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315. It is open daily from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm, but may depend on the season. Parking is available for free on-site, as well as free street parking in Grant Park.
Ticket prices start at $24.99 for adults and $18.99 for children, with discounts for seniors, college students, and military. Zoo Atlanta is included in the Atlanta CityPASS and there are special ticket prices for the Library Pass program. Get your Zoo Atlanta Admission before you go.
If you’ll be taking public transportation, take MARTA bus route #32 from the Five Points or Civic Center stations. Get off at the Boulevard and Ormewood stop. There’s also free parking if you’re driving and free Lyft rides offered from the MARTA stations.