A zoo, which can also be referred to as a zoological garden or zoological park, is a facility in which animals are housed within safe closures and displayed to the public.
There are thousands of zoos around the world, and Nigeria is one of the countries whose zoos contribute to the counting.
However, owing to the observation of numerous reports, it saddens one's heart to know that the present state of zoos in Nigeria is nothing to write home about.
Total negligence from government and concerned agencies have brought our zoos to a state of pity. With animals not being fed regularly, and workers being underpaid, it easy to understand what I am talking about.
Be that as it may, there are still a few number of zoos that can be said to be fair enough if we should compare them to the many others.
Read on to see the best zoos we can boast of in Nigeria
1. Audu Bako zoo
Located along zoo road Kano, Audu Bako zoo is known to be one of the first zoos in Nigeria. Popularly known as 'Gidan zoo', the Audu Bako Zoological and Botanical garden, was established in 1971.
It would be open to the public in 1972 by the then State Military Governor, Audu Bako.
The zoo which covers an area of about 46 hectares is currently managed by Kano state Zoological & wildlife Management (KAZOWMA).
Interestingly, the zoo can make boast of one hundred and fifty animals which include Lion, Zebra, Hippopotamus, Giraffes, Elephants, Hyenas, Ostrich, Antelopes, Camels and Goats.
People from different parts of Nigeria and around the globe pay visit to this historic zoo either for recreational activities or for educational and research reasons.
The zoo is visited mostly during the Eid Celebrations. There are various shops where food and snacks are sold. Also, the zoo is very large so get ready for a long walk!
The Zoo opens every day 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Entry requires a gate fee of ₦100 per adult and ₦50 per child.
2. The National Children's Park and Zoo
Situated in the federal capital territory, Asokoro District, behind the Presidential Villa to be precise, the zoo is a perfect place for family to visit.
Because visitors will be privileged to see a wide range of animals such as cheetah, giraffe, ostrich, zebra, and lion. Animals like camels, donkeys can also be found in the zoo.
Making it more interesting for children to identify the animals with ease, are the names of animals that are displayed right on their cage.
The park also has a large playground for kids and a lake. There’s a cafe nearby that provides snacks and freshly made drinks, making it a perfect destination for both families and lovers.
The National Children’s park and the zoo is opened daily from 9 am to 6 pm.
A gate fee of ₦200 for adults and ₦100 for children is accepted before entrance into the zoo.
3. Jos Wildlife Park
Built in 1956, but opened to the public in 1957, the wildlife park of Jos is located along Miango road, Rantya area of Jos, Plateau State.
The park is also referred to as the Jesse Aruku Wildlife Park and covers an area of 8 square kilometers/ 3 square miles.
Unarguably, the park is one of the renowned zoological gardens in the country and is home to a variety of animals including Monkeys, Elephants, Hippopotamuses, Buffalo, Crocodiles, Hyenas, Birds, Chimpanzees, Gazelle, and Lions.
Owing to the variety of wildlife and closeness to nature, tourists come from far and wide.
There are picnic spots within the park, a children's playground, a restaurant and a history museum that tells narratives about the park and Jos itself.
One thing is certain when you visit this park: the experience will always stay with you.
4. Ogba Zoo
Located in Ogba village, a forest reserve area that is about six kilometers from the capital city of Edo state, the zoo was established in 1915.
It covers a land area of about twenty hectares and is one of the largest in the country. It houses a wide range of animals like Lions, Chimpanzees, Giant Tortoises, Peafowls, Rock Python and more.
There is also an extensive landscaped grounds, picnic areas, refreshment centers, function halls, restaurant, outdoor event grounds and a large car park.
The environment of this iconic zoo is aesthetically appealing for the enjoyment of nature's gift.
Interestingly, visitors can enjoy rides on Horses, Camel, and Donkeys.
The Zoo has an exclusive event ground that takes up to 1,500 Guests with enough space for all kind of recreational activities.