The San Juan de Aragón Zoo is Mexico City’s other big zoo. Though a smaller zoo in Coyoacán concentrates on just Mexican animals, the zoo in Aragon works in close partnership with the Chapultepec Zoo. Animal exchanges, health and veterinary services and overall collection maintenance are shared between the two entities. Together, they provide a conservation service, not just for regional animals, but for animals from all over the world.
Opened in 1964, the zoo was originally home to some 135 species of 1,650 animals. In 1998, the city remodeled the zoo and it re-opened only in 2002. The new design provided for animals now organized by their continents of origin. Visitors are now surrounded in the animals biological environments that allow one to experience something of the vegetation, topography, and water the species rely on.
Newer areas include arid and semi-arid zones of Mexico, with space for the Mexican wolf, prairie dogs, coatis, raccoon, collared peccaries, and coyotes. A coastal area includes green macaws, and California and Patagonian sea lions. The Mexican tropics are home to spider monkeys, jaguars, an aviary, plus homes to ocelots and Yucatan brown brocket deer.
Animals of the African savanna include elephants, white rhinos, chimpanzees, and hippopotami. The zoo does a great job with public outreach. With the city authorities, it’s also deeply invested in conservation and animal health efforts, in and around the city, and beyond.
The Aragón Zoo is also a much quieter alternative to the zoo in Chapultepec. Crowds are more rare, and as a free public park, it’s a great place to find oneself on a quiet weekday afternoon.