The Chester Zoo is the largest zoo in the U.K., with over 100 acres of grounds and 11 miles of pathways. This zoo boasts an impressive monorail system with stations close to the monkeys, which is an easy way to cross the zoo. During the summer months, riding a waterbus through the zoo is an excellent manner in which to view the animals. The “must-visit” exhibits are examined below.
This is a mixed exhibit that houses the Blackbuck, Burmese Brow Antlered Deer, Swamp Deer, and the rarest deer in the world, the Philippine Spotted Deer. Up above the paddocks are two great picnic spots where you look down at the animals.
Elephants of the Asian Forest
The Chester Zoo is proud to boast the best breeding record involving Asian elephants of any zoo in the UK. In 1977 the first birth of an Asian elephant in the U.K. was recorded when Jubilee was born. This is a beautiful exhibit that has just been remodeled and had its size more than doubled. Giant waterfalls and wallows provide a playground for the Great Indian Hornbills.
Islands in Danger
This display of endangered island species includes Komodo Dragons, Red Birds of Paradise, St. Lucia Amazons, White Collared Kingfishers, catbirds, and Victoria Crowned Pigeons.
Future plans are to expand this exhibit to allow for a summer outdoor paddock that will be home to three female Komodo dragons.
This exhibit is home to a very rare breed of Columbian Black Spider Monkeys that are considered an endangered species. These monkeys can be viewed through portholes while they are playing their monkey games. Other species that can be viewed in the exhibit include: Lion Tailed and Sulawesi Crested Macaques and the African species Mandrill and Campbell’s Guenon. The miniature monkeys exhibit is frequently rated most popular exhibit at Chester Zoo.
Parrot Breeding Center
This is Chester Zoo’s oldest buildings and houses an exceptional collection of parrots. Living here are Blue-eyed, Slender Billed Black, and Palm Cockatoos as well as Mount Apo Lorikeets and Red and Blue Lories.
Realm of the Red Ape
Chester Zoo’s Chimpanzees, Bornean Orangutans, and Sumatran Orangutans live here. Chester Zoo was the first zoo to keep chimps on islands, and the modern Chimp Island is the original refurbished and extended, notably with the addition of fifty giant pine trunks to convert “Chimp Island” to “Chimpanzee Forest”. Adjacent to this building a giant aviary plays home to a variety of birds including the White Stork and the Scarlet Ibis.
Spirit of the Jaguar
Two pair of Jaguars roam free within the well planted savannah and rainforest enclosure. Leaf Cutter Ants, Poison Arrow Frogs, and the Butterfly Goodeid are on display here. Some experts claim that this Chester Zoo Jaguar exhibit is the best in the world.
This building houses a very large collection of birds that are flying through the building largely made up of pigeons, starlings and ground birds. Other aviary birds include hornbills, turacos, peacock pheasants, Ferriginous Owl, Sun Bittern and the Red Billed Currasow.
Additionally located here is Chester Zoo’s reptile collection. Dwarf Crocodiles, American Alligators, and Mata Mata Turtles occupy the jungle pools. In an outside pen, very close to the entrance, live the Tuatara from New Zeland. This lizard like animal is the last surviving species of sphenodont, a prehistoric group of reptiles.
Tsavo-Black Rhino Experience
This recently constructed exhibit includes a new Rhino House, new Rhino paddocks, and a new home for the Meerkats.
This exhibit is not for the faint at heart. As you enter the building where the exhibit is located all of a sudden it becomes very dark. Giant cockroaches and black scorpions hiss at you from tanks that are set in the wall, with only a very thin piece of glass separating you from them.
As you continue walking you enter the “jungle twilight area,” that is home to over 200 Rodrigues Fruit Bats and Seba’s Short Tailed Bats. Waterways and giant fish tanks house catfish, characins, and blind cavefish. This Chester Zoo exhibit is always rated the scariest.