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Video:Guide to the Phoenix Zoo

with Jennifer Damore

Located on 125 acres in Papago Park, the Phoenix Zoo is home to 1300 animals, including 200 endangered or threatened species. Here's a helpful guide on what to do and see the next time you visit the Phoenix Zoo.See Transcript

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Transcript:Guide to the Phoenix Zoo

Hi, I'm Jen D'Amore for About.com, and this video is your guide to visiting the Phoenix Zoo.

Getting Started at the Phoenix Zoo

Located on 125 acres in Papago Park, the Phoenix Zoo is home to 1300 animals, including 200 endangered or threatened species. Parking is free and prevalent. Be sure to look down on your way into the park to see a pre-show of playful turtles. Once you're in, get ready for your close-up, as the safari photographer snaps your family photo. Grab a map, and you're ready to go.

Phoenix Zoo Trails

The zoo is split into four trails: Africa, Tropics, Children's Trail and the Arizona Trail. You can wander on your own or hop onto the safari train for a relaxing guided tour. Hold onto your ticket to depart and board the safari train at designated stops. Besides viewing animals, the Africa Trail features camel rides and an up close giraffe encounter. You can feed the stingrays at Stingray Bay at the entrance to the Arizona Trail. You'll find the Forest of Uco on the Tropics Trail, where the environment is enough to convince you that you've completely left the desert. The petting zoo is located in Harmony Farm on the Children's Trail, with attention seeking animals, and plenty of hand washing and sanitizing stations.

Phoenix Zoo Kids' Activities

Across from Harmony Farm is the Mill House Dock, where you can rent pedal boats. Throughout the park you'll find plenty of activities and play areas that the kids will love, like the Leapin' Lagoon water play area and the Endangered Species Carousel. It's no wonder that the Phoenix Zoo has been named one the top five zoos for children.

Getting to Know the Animals

Look for the signs by each animal to learn interesting facts, including where in the world it is from, and whether it's on the endangered species list. While some animals need to be viewed from a protective distance, others can be experienced up close and personal. Monkey Village lets you join squirrel monkeys in their own environment. Just follow the instructions of the guides and keep at least 3 feet between you and the monkeys at all times.

Special Events and Eating at the Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo also hosts birthday parties and special events. A local favorite is Zoo Lights, a holiday light show that takes place in the evening during the winter holiday season. With all this walking around in the desert, no matter what time of year, remember to stay hydrated. In addition to traditional park eateries, you'll find water fountains and vending machines throughout the park. When you're done, be sure to take advantage of the prevalent recycling bins. You can even recycle your Zoo Map on the way out. But don't forget to pick up your photo and hit the gift shop before leaving. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.
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