With that being said, though, the limited space packs quite the punch!
Over the years, the Zoo has been completely redone. A beautiful entrance has been constructed, complete with a spacious gift shop, modern bathrooms, and the Gombe Cafe.
New buildings have been added, featuring Deserts of the World and Forests of the World. These are in addition to the other areas, which include the Gombe Forest, Corcovado Jungle, Himalayan Passage, a North American animal section, and the Warner Park Ranch.
At the ranch, you can get up close and personal with many species of domesticated animals. You can pet, feed, or pose with goats, ponies, cows, dogs, and even camels!
This zoo doesn't have a lot of larger species, like elephants and giraffes; but they have loads of adorable mammals, from big cats to tiny Tamarins. You'll also find a great selection of reptiles, amphibians, birds, arachnids, and insects from all over the world.
The best part of this zoo, in our opinion, is that it IS small. It's not overwhelming if you have smaller kids, and most importantly, you really feel like you are right there with all the animals that you see. It's nice to have such close viewing opportunities for so many unique species. You don't always get that at larger zoos.
With admission prices starting at $9 for adults, and $6 for kids ages 3-12, with kids 2 and under free, this is one of the few affordable zoos left. If you have an AZA Reciprocal membership, you get 50% off those prices.
Additional programs and add-on options are available through Zoo Tours and Wild Encounter Programs.
The zoo also hosts many fundraisers and special events throughout the year. Jack Hanna is a regular guest and we would love to meet him. I will review their Boo at the Zoo event in a separate review, because even though we love the zoo itself, we personally find their Halloween event to be highly misleading and a disappointing waste of time.
We adore the zoo for a regular visit, though. Most of the employees are very friendly. Whenever we are visiting friends in Chattanooga, we always think of the zoo as a good meeting place for everyone to gather. It's a hit in our social circle, and I think you will enjoy it, too!