North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro near Chapel Hill, NC

4401 Zoo Pkwy Asheboro, NC 27205
The North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, near Chapel Hill, North Carolina is situated in the Uwharrie Mountains, just west of Raleigh, the state's geographic center. It is the largest walk through zoo in the entire world, with its over 2,000 acres, and only one of two state owned zoos in the United States. The North Carolina Zoo houses over 1,600 animals from over 250 species representing Africa and North America. The zoo is open all year and receives over 700,000 visitors annually.


The North Carolina Zoo's first animals were two Galapagos tortoises, which arrived in 1973, a year before the zoo officially opened to the public. From the National Zoo in Washington D.C. the first hominid in outer space, Ham the Chimp was moved to the zoo 1978, where he lived happily until his death in 1983.


Since the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, then again in 2003, the North Carolina Zoo has worked closely with both the Kabul Zoo and the Baghdad Zoo. Alongside the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, the zoo has helped rebuild and maintain both exhibits, helping raise funds, organize animal purchases, and provide proper expertise in animal care.


In 2010, the North Carolina Zoo announced it would expand to include animals and plants from Asia, including tigers, rhinos, and orangutans. The zoo also plans on establishing a convention center and hotel which will overlook the animal exhibits, making the zoo a multi-day destination for visitors.


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