In today’s entry, Julian Omidi looks at the most beloved zoo animals.
The worldly editors at Encyclopedia Britannica have made it official: some zoo animals are more popular than others. In fact, the erudite editorial educators are now offering up their own top-10 list of amazingly adorable animals on display at public zoos. Note that, unfortunately, not every creature is available in every zoo.
When you head out to your local eco enclave this summer, you might not encounter all of them. Here’s Britannica’s roundup that should be copied and posted on your refrigerator door for future reference. Check each one off as you see them in your travels. Happy zoo-going!
Meerkats (see photo above)
So human and so curious, meerkats combine the best traits of raccoons and monkeys in a weird mixture of adorable, childlike friendliness.
If you don’t instantly fall in love with these loveable tree-dwellers, then your heart is set to “chill.”
Forget what you’ve seen in vampire films. Most enclosures for bats are the coolest thing in the entire zoo.
Perhaps the most popular zoo creature of all time, these semi-human simians are always a big draw wherever they appear.
An oddity of the animal kingdom, these minuscule hoppers are a blast to watch, as long as there is a strong piece of protective glass between you and them.
Another classic zoo favorite. Throughout history, kangaroos have captivated and intrigued those who encounter them.
Beware the mysterious and not-so-friendly Tamarin, which is actually a mini-monkey. They look so cuddly and cute but, as any zoologist will tell you, they are definitely NOT meant to be pets. Even so, they are amazing to observe and impossibly tiny.
These small, monkey-like climbers are new to the zoo scene, but make almost everyone’s top-10 “loveable animals” list.
An age-old zoo favorite that appears to be almost human.
These friendly giants are the world’s largest rodents, but you’ll see more guinea pig than rat in their countenance. Plus, kids instantly fall in love with these animals, so if your zoo has some, don’t miss them.
Be sure to visit and support your local zoos, wildlife refuges and animal shelters. They do so much for our communities!
Be good to each other,
Julian Omidi, along with his brother Dr. Michael Omidi and mother Cindy Omidi, are advocates and co-founders of numerous nonprofit organizations, including Civic Duty and many others. To read an account of the Omidi brothers rescuing an abandoned baby harbor seal, visit their charity AnimalSupport.org.