Colorado Springs’ Cheyenne Mountain Zoo might be America’s fourth favorite zoo, but it’s obviously No. 1 in our eyes!

USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice has ranked Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in the No. 4 spot for best zoos in North America. And it’s no wonder — If you’ve spent any time at the mountainside, hands-on zoological park, then you know what a treasure it truly is!

“We are thrilled that our community and fans around the country have advanced us to 4th — up two places from last year’s 6th-place ranking. We are honored to be named alongside other amazing AZA-accredited facilities,” a statement on the zoo’s website said.

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is home to the largest zoo giraffe herd in the world (and guests are actually allowed to hand-feed the giraffes!). Other interactive exhibits include Budgie Buddies (featuring parakeets) and My Big Backyard, which gives children the chance to feed chickens and get hands-on with tortoises, rabbits, and more. Plus, guests can enjoy gorgeous views of Colorado Springs and the Front Range, as well as a bird’s eye view of animal exhibits, via a ski lift up the mountainside.

“The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs connects visitors with more than 750 animals representing 170 species from all corners of the globe,” 10Best states.

The final 10Best rankings are as follows:

  1. Saint Louis Zoo
  2. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium
  3. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
  4. Cheyenne Mountain Zoo — Colorado Springs
  5. Fort Worth Zoo
  6. Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum — Tucson
  7. Dallas Zoo
  8. Audubon Zoo — New Orleans
  9. Zoo Miami
  10. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens — Palm Desert, Calif.

Travel experts nominated 20 AZA-accredited zoos in North America, and then readers voted online over the past month to narrow the list down to the top 10. The Denver Zoo was included in the original top 20 and hung around the No. 13 or No. 14 spot for the majority of the voting period, but it ultimately did not make the cut into the 10Best.

Congratulations to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo! Thank you for everything you do to conserve wildlife, advance animal care and husbandry, and create an unforgettable and educational guest experience!

What do you think? What’s your favorite zoo in the nation? What’s your favorite zoo in Colorado? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

We’re on baby giraffe watch! Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is expecting the birth of two baby giraffes — any day now!