ASHEBORO, N.C. – Wednesday was National Visit a Zoo Day and the North Carolina Zoo celebrated the occasion with a discount on a general admission ticket.

If you didn't get an opportunity to capitalize on that that, here are five reasons to visit the NC Zoo no matter what day it is:

  1. It is the world's largest natural habitat zoo
  2. It has 500 acres of developed walking trails
  3. There are over a thousand animals to see, including polar bears, lions, grizzly bears, bison, rhinos, elephants, and giraffes
  4. Go for the season special attractions like Paddle Bats, Zoofari, Air Hike Ropes Course, and Kidzone
  5. The zoo only closes one day a year, which means you have 364 days you can go and take friends or family.

The exhibits and attractions represents hundreds of species, especially those exclusive to Africa and North America.

Although the zoo recommends planning your visit, an impromptu visit to the NC Zoo isn't a bad choice.

Uzoma Nwosu and his family made a pit stop at the Zoo on their way to Charlotte from Cary.

“This is a fantastic zoo and I like how everything is just laid out very orderly,” Nwosu said.

Jamie Merchel, Guest Services Officer, says that winter time is a bit slower than the Spring and that peak visit days are generally Easter, Spring Break, and Memorial Day.

“If you're looking for parking, that's not the time to come,” Merchel said jokingly, “But it is wonderful because it's when people like to get out of the house and see the animals in the Spring,” she added.

While you're cozying up by a fire in your PJs, and with very cold weather approaching, you may wonder what happens to the animals at the NC Zoo during colder weather.

Merchel says that the Animal Care Specialists make sure the animals get exactly what they need to stay warm during the winter.

“They do have their areas off of the habitat that are heated and maintained,” she said. “A lot of the animals, especially the African species that are not fans of the cold weather, they have access to their behind-the-scenes areas.”

If you're waiting for warmer weather, there's even more to look forward to this coming Spring season.

“We are in the process of bringing a live free-flight bird show,” Merchel shared. “We are also looking at an expansion to our Air Hikes Ropes Course area for your younger-aged children.”

General Admission to the NC Zoo is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, and $11 for Children.

To learn more about the NC Zoo visit their website at

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