The Nashville Zoo first got its start in 1991 when it opened to the public in Cheatham County. The zoo took over management of the Grassmere property in 1996 after the Grassmere Wildlife Park closed. In 1998, the zoo in Cheatham County closed and the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere opened. Today, the Nashville Zoo houses over 2,248 animals of more than 353 species, including giraffes, alpaca, kangaroos, and zebra. In addition to the many animals that can be seen at the zoo, there are also several other attractions.
Built in 1810, the Grassmere Historic Home is listed on the National Register of Historic Homes, open seasonally for guided tours, and is Grassmere Historic Farm's centerpiece. Tours are led by interpreters as they tell visitors about the property's history and stories from those who lived there. The Nashville Zoo's Jungle Gym offers guests a chance to prowl around like a tiger, run like a zebra, and swing like a gibbon. At 66,000 square feet, it's the country's largest community-built playground. The playground features super slides, a giant snake tunnel, swings, and a 35-foot tall tree house structure.
The Kangaroo Kickabout attraction at Nashville Zoo offers visitors a chance to enter a habitat of and interact with eighteen red kangaroos. Featuring 4,500 square feet of Australian landscaping, Kangaroo Kickabout lets guests choose to view the animals from outside the habitat or get up close to the kangaroos by walking along the winding path right through the middle of the exhibit. Visitors have to stay on the path, but the kangaroos are free to wander throughout the habitat.
Critter Encounters offers another way for visitors to get up close and personal to animals, such as taking a selfie with a camel or petting a goat. Some other critters guests can interact with are alpaca, an array of birds, and Galapagos tortoises. Lorikeet Landing provides an opportunity to walk through a stunning aviary that is home to over fifty free-flying colorful lorikeet parrots. For a small fee, visitors can also feed the parrots.
More tortoises can be seen at Shell Station in the Nashville Zoo. The habitat contains up to ten Sulcata tortoises, ranging from three to five years old. Visitors are able to walk within the exhibit and touch the shell of the tortoises. These creatures are natively found in North Africa's Sahara Desert, can live to be more than seventy years old, and are the world's third largest species of tortoise.
The Soaring Eagle Zip Line offers a more thrilling, adrenaline-pumping experience. One of the newest attractions at the zoo, the zip line sends rider over tree tops to catch a glimpse of giraffes, elephants, and more. Featuring the newest design for zip line rides, visitors can ride the zip line both ways and also with a friend. Soaring Eagle transports riders 110-feet high and several hundred yards backwards before it releases them on an exhilarating 28 mph trip back to the ground.
3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, Tennessee, Phone: 615-833-1534
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