The Memphis Zoo is an important part of any trip through West Tennessee

The Memphis Zoo is home to 4,000 animals and hours upon hours of fun. Better yet, this zoo is one of only four in the U.S. where you can see giant pandas. Every animal here is worth a visit though so come check it out!

Every day is better when there are cute animals – even snowy days in Memphis! Zoos are sure to put a smile on almost anyone’s face, and The Memphis zoo is a 76 acre space to enjoy over 4,000 animals right in the middle of the city – over two miles of walking to cover the whole thing! They opened in 1906, and their goal remains to make people feel like they’ve been transported to a different part of the world when they come to visit.

Winnie the hippo, courtesy Memphis Zoo

The hippo habitat is pretty amazing, and even on a snowy day, they’re hanging out in a heated 78 degree pool. Winnie was born at the zoo, and her tiny, sweet little face made her ab it of a local celebrity. Who knew that hippos could be so happy in Memphis? And how cute is she?

Beyond the hippos, there are so many more animals to see. There are some that are even fans of the colder weather we saw during our visit – the giant pandas. Our guide, Matt, personally escorted these guys over from China, and we have to say that whatever it took was totally worth it. Ya Ya and Luh Luh are two of only a handful of giant pandas in captivity in the US – only four zoos across the country host the playful balls of chub and fluff.

Ya Ya and Luh Luh eat about 100 lbs. of bamboo EVERY DAY. In fact, there is an entire crew that does nothing but harvest bamboo and bring it to the bears.  Yes, we said that right. It takes 5 men and two trucks every day to keep these guys fed. That’s a LOT of bamboo.

One of the coolest parts of the zoo, though, is the Animals of the Night exhibit. Local celebrity, Lua, is a two-toed sloth and is a great ambassador for the Memphis Zoo.

Honestly, you just don’t get anymore adorable than a sloth, long limbs, long hair, the way that they just kind of hang upside down and look goofy. They’re just cool animals.

Really, Lua is the cutest Memphian we saw in our travels. No offense, guys.


This content was created in partnership with the Memphis Zoo.