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Things to do near campus The Virginia Zoo The Virginia Zoo is located at 3500 Granby Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23504 (adjacent to Lafayette Park). 7 minute drive from campus.

Photo Essay written by Amanda David Assistant News Editor


Photo taken by: Amanda David

The Virginia Zoo was first accredited in 1974 by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and is one of only two AZA-accredited zoos in Virginia. The Virginia Zoo is home to more than 400 animals from around the world. It spans 53 acres and is adjacent to Lafayette Park. Best of all, ODU students get in free everyday.


The entrance to the Zoo features a sculpture of an African elephant comprised of more than 10,000 plasma cut aluminum butterflies. The sculpture, created by Matthew Palmer, was installed in January 2010. Palmer is creating another sculpture of a crawling tiger to be placed near the entrance to the zoo's “Trail of the Tiger� exhibit.

Photo taken by: Kelsey Edgemon


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Photo taken by: Christine Wetzler

Meerkats Pat, a female, and Slate, a male, each weigh about two pounds and enjoy digging in their habitat which is comprised of many tunnels.


Megavertebrates, such as elephants and giraffes, are the most popular animals at the zoo. The Zoo has three female South African Bush Elephants named Monica, Cita, and Lisa.

Photo taken by: Amanda David


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Photo taken by: Amanda David

The Virginia Zoo offers a special package where guests can take a behindthe-scenes tour of the giraffe habitat and an opportunity to feed them. Giraffe feeding for two will set you back about $150.


Many of the animals at the Virginia Zoo face challenges in their natural habitats. The zoo participates in the Species Survival Program which is designed to help critically endangered species. The zoo participates in SSPs for 16 species including, the white rhino, baboon, lion, elephant, and the red panda.

Photo taken by: Amanda David


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Photo taken by: Amanda David

Children gaze at the lion pride through the glass on a sunny Saturday afternoon. The lion's roar can be heard across the zoo.


On May 2, 2009, the Virginia Zoo welcomed four new cubs to their pride, three males and one female. They live with their parents Zola and Mramba at the zoo.

Photo taken by: Christine Wetzler


In 2008, the Zoo opened a train that provides guests with a guided tour the grounds. Admission to ride the train costs $2. Last year, more than 100,000 train tickets were sold. Proceeds from train ticket sales funded the kangaroo exhibit which opened in 2009.

Photo taken by: Kelsey Edgemon


The Barnyard exhibit features domestic animals, such as cows and goats, and provides guests with petting opportunities.

Photo taken by: Amanda David


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Photo taken by: Amanda David

“Warning: Dangerous Animals!” ODU Seniors Kelsey Edgemon and Craig Blankenship pose in the “Homo Sapien” exhibit.


Photo taken by: Amanda David

The Virginia Zoo will open their newest exhibit “Asia: Trail of the Tiger� on April 2, 2011. The five and a half acre exhibit will feature about 30 new animals from across Asia. The exhibit highlights an Asian temple theme including twelve pagodas, the tallest of which is nine stories high. Malayan tigers, Asian otters, orangutans, gibbons, Malayan tapirs and a colorful collection of birds are some of the zoos newest residents included in the new exhibit.


The new Asian exhibit will house two Malayan tapirs, a large relative of the horse. In Asian myth, this odd looking animal is said to be made up of the left over parts from other animals. The trunk of an elephant, feet of a rhino, and a black and white coloring that resembles a giant panda.

Photo taken by: Christine Wetzler


Large, spiraled horns and thin, white stripes on a chestnut colored body make the bongo stand out. One of the baby bongos born at the Virginia Zoo was traded for Rimba, a four-year-old male Malayan tapir from the Singapore Zoo. Rimba is now part of the new Asian exhibit.

Photo taken by: Amanda David

Virginia Zoo Photo Essay  

Virginia Zoo Photo Essay

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