So much to see at Zoo Knoxville

More Than A Day Away By Mike Steely

There’s a lot to see and do in and around our community but nothing is like a visit to Zoo Knoxville. My wife and I took a Sunday morning to take in the zoo and much has changed since we visited the place many years ago.

Currently, the zoo is featuring animatronic dinosaurs and those lifelike beasts are actual size, authentic looking, and, surprisingly, each has its own growls and noises. The children visiting there with their parents seemed fascinated and a little scared of the life-like prehistoric animals.

Our main objective during the visit was to see the baby animals. The young giraffe followed its two parents around their lot, loping along with its long neck and not quite tall enough to eat from the tall trees like the others. The animals were beautiful and graceful for their size and the long necks are still surprising.

We did as much walking as our old legs would let us, visiting many animal exhibits. The baby chimps were active and one swung back and forth next to the large window, teasing the young children who wanted to play with him. The gorillas seemed unimpressed by the viewing crowd.

The elephants lumbered along their lot with one standing next to the boulders that somehow resembled the large beast. A zoo volunteer was there showing a reproduction of an elephant’s large tooth, explaining how the animals lose and replace their teeth.

Children and their parents rode the train and merry-go-round and a zipline carried them up the hill and back down again.

We saw all kinds of people and animals but didn’t visit the entire zoo. A person could spend the entire day there, as food and drinks are available, the staff friendly and informative, and there is so much to see.

For us, the main attraction was the two new baby goats, Clover and Rusty. They were out playing up and down their habitat in the Kids Cove petting area. The head-butting, running, climbing and frolicking baby goats drew a crowd of people, especially children.  Viewing those little active animals is worth a trip there.

Zoo Knoxville is open from 9-5 each day. You can call 865-637-5331 for information or visit the zoo online at Tickets are $26.95 for adults and $21.95 for students and senior citizens. Children under two years of age are admitted free.