In Anthony Sheridan's newest ranking of European zoos, Zoo Zurich has moved up a notch. Sheridan now lists it as the second best zoo in Europe.
Since 2009, zoo expert Anthony Sheridan has published a biennial ranking of the best zoos in Europe. Since the publication of the second edition of the ranking (2011), Zoo Zurich has always ranked among the top three zoos in Europe. This remains the case with the latest edition of the rankings.
On par with Leipzig
Zoo Zuich once again received the best rating of all European zoos surveyed in the area of «Education and Conservation». The zoo also improved its ranking in the areas of «visitor factor» and «economic/organisational factors». In the overall rating, Zoo Zurich is still bested by the world's oldest zoo, the Schönbrunn Zoo in Vienna. However, the zoo now shares second place with Leipzig Zoo, which had been ranked ahead of Zoo Zurich in the last assessment.
Sheridan has not yet included the newest facility at Zoo Zurich, the Lewa Savanna, in this ranking, as he created it in 2019. The publication of the ranking has been delayed until today due to the coronavirus pandemic.
«We are very happy about this rating. It confirms that we are on the right track and one of the leading zoos in Europe», says Zoo Director Severin Dressen.
40 criteria in 3 areas
In his ranking, Sheridan evaluated 126 European zoos surveyed according to 40 criteria in the areas of «visitor factor», «education and conservation» and «economic/organisational factors». The criteria examined include animal species, the range of species, animal husbandry, species conservation, zoo education, visitor experience, marketing, investments or employees.
The ranking classifies the zoos into three groups, depending on the number of annual visitors. With over one million visitors per year, Zoo Zurich belongs to group A. In the B category (over 500,000 visitors), Sheridan rated Rostock Zoo as the best zoo, preceding Münster Zoo. Sosto Zoo (Hungary) leads in the C category (over 250,000 visitors) followed by Aalborg Zoo (Denmark).
Anthony Sheridan's zoo ranking is a personal but meticulously compiled ranking. As there is no «official» zoo ranking list to date, Sheridan's ranking is still the standard reference in this field.
The ranking is again accompanied by a book this time. Former Zoo Zurich Director Alex Rübel, who retired in 2020, has helped Anthony Sheridan to publish the latest edition of the book «Zooscape 2020. Sheridan's Handbook of Zoos in Europe 2015–2030» with various additional chapters. However, Rübel had no influence on the zoo evaluation. This was already set in 2019, long before Rübel began working on the book.