Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Voted #6 Best Zoo in North America by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards

May 3, 2019

– Rocky Mountain Wild Named #5 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America –

Colorado Springs, Colo. – For the third consecutive year, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has been voted one of the top ten zoos in North America in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. This time, America’s mountain Zoo was recognized in two categories: #6 Best Zoo in North America and #5 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America, for its Rocky Mountain Wild exhibit.

“It means a great deal to know that people voted for us. We work hard to provide an environment where our community members can come to be inspired. This national recognition reminds us that the impact of our mission reaches beyond the city of Colorado Springs,” said Bob Chastain, President and CEO of Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. “We were nominated amongst a group of impressive organizations, in markets much larger than ours, which makes us even more proud to have been named the sixth best zoo in North America and that Rocky Mountain Wild is the fifth best zoo exhibit.”

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo aims to set itself apart by making every guest experience inspiring. With its simply stated vision, “Every Kid. Every Time. Goosebumps.” at its cultural core, CMZoo creates environments and experiences that bring people closer to animals. Exhibits are designed to remove unnecessary physical barriers, while keeper-led animal interactions and demonstrations are designed to establish and build connections between our guests and the animals who live here. CMZoo’s goal is to foster connections that inspire our guests to take action to protect animals and their habitats in the wild.

Rocky Mountain Wild, an area of the Zoo that is home to animals from the Zoo’s native region, was named #5 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America. Rocky Mountain Wild opened in the summer of 2008, appropriately hugging the highest elevations of CMZoo’s developed mountainside acreage. The area is home to a pack of endangered Mexican wolves, four Canada lynx, a Canada moose, two North American porcupines, two bald eagles, two grizzly bears, a mountain lion, three river otters, a family of turkeys and a flock of wood ducks. Rocky Mountain Wild is known for its expansive natural exhibits, exquisite views, educational and entertaining animal demonstrations, and enthusiastic and passionate team of animal keepers.

This is the first time Rocky Mountain Wild has been nominated in the Best Zoo Exhibit category, and the third time Cheyenne Mountain Zoo has been nominated in the Best Zoo category. A panel of travel experts, recruited by USA TODAY editors, nominated 20 North American Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoos and exhibits, and supporters had four weeks to cast their votes once per day for the nominees of their choice.

The 2019 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Top Ten Best Zoos in North America, in ranking order, are:

  1. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden – Cincinnati
  2. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium – Omaha, Neb.
  3. Saint Louis Zoo – St. Louis
  4. Fort Worth Zoo – Fort Worth
  5. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium – Columbus, Ohio
  6. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo – Colorado Springs
  7. Riverbanks Zoo & Garden – Columbia, S.C.
  8. Memphis Zoo – Memphis
  9. Audubon Zoo – New Orleans
  10. Dallas Zoo – Dallas

Nominees for all categories are chosen by a panel of relevant experts which include a combination of editors from USA TODAY, editors from, relevant expert contributors, and sources for both these media and other Gannett properties. The nomination panel for each award category is displayed on its associated contest page. All voting is digital and the 10Best Readers’ Choice Award contest is accessible on the website.


About Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Cheyenne Mountain Zoological Society was founded in 1926. Today, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, America’s mountain Zoo, offers comprehensive education programs, exciting conservation efforts and truly fantastic animal experiences. In 2019, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo was voted #6 Best Zoo in North America and CMZoo’s Rocky Mountain Wild was named #5 Best Zoo Exhibit in North America by USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. It is Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s goal to help guests fall in love with animals and nature, and take action to protect them. Of the 233 zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is one of just ten operating without tax support. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo depends on admissions, membership dues, special event attendance and donations for funding.