Gardens & Arboretums
Want To See 40,000 Plants? Visit The Zoo
That's right! There are more than 40,000 plants to see as you wind your way through the exhibits and five miles of pathways at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro. Of course, there are also animals – more than 1,100 individual animals of 200 species living on 500 acres of exhibits that are built to resemble natural habitats.
The NC Zoo is made up of two continents, North America and Africa. All along the shaded paths, native plant species are planted among the naturally occurring NC natives.
The North America animal exhibits include otters, seals, bears, bobcats, wolves, foxes and many other animals. There is a butterfly garden and special hands-on area for children. A honeybee garden is being planted in the North America section of the zoo.
Three indoor exhibits provide year-round gardens. These gardens include the Sonora Desert, African Pavilion and the R.J. Reynolds Forest Aviary.
Outside the Sonora Desert exhibit, the cacti, salvia and yucca plants provide year-round interest. In the enclosed exhibit, there are hummingbirds, roadrunners, lizards, snakes and other animals that live in the Sonora desert among the vegetation for that environment.
The African Pavilion is loaded with plants to create a Tropical Plant Walk exhibit while taking in the meerkats, baboons and other African animals. Outside, the African Plains stretch across acres to accommodate the large animals such as rhinos and elephants. There are also zebras, giraffes, lions and other African animals.
A favorite garden is in the lush aviary where the birds flit about gorgeous blooms and foliage. The R. J. Reynolds Forest Aviary includes over 3,000 tropical plants that provide a habitat for dozens of exotic birds and tropical frogs.
There’s always something of interest for gardeners in the outdoors, too.
In spring, the native dogwoods, redbuds and other flowering natives emerge to add color along the pathways. In summer, wildflowers and perennials attract the butterflies. With the opening of the honeybee garden, nectar plants will add to the spring and summer blooms. Autumn is also perfect time to visit the zoo. The fall colors are beautiful as visitors, and the animals, enjoy the pleasant temperatures.
The NC Zoo is a fascinating destination for all ages!
By Freda Cameron
By Freda Cameron
added: March 16, 2009
updated: March 16, 2009