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Travelers Rank San Diego Zoo Among World’s Best

Above: The entrance of the San Diego Zoo, Nov. 18, 2004.

TripAdvisor's Top 10 U.S. Zoos

Henry Doorly Zoo, Omaha, Nebraska

San Diego Zoo

St. Louis Zoo, Missouri

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Memphis Zoo, Tennessee

Denver Zoo, Colorado

Riverbanks Zoos and Botanical Garden, Columbia, South Carolina

Zoo Miami, Florida

Fort Worth Zoo, Texas

fortherock via Compfight

A panda at the San Diego Zoo, March 2, 2008.

America’s Finest City is home to the second-best zoo in the world, travel site TripAdvisor.com reports.

The San Diego Zoo was ranked as the No. 2 zoo in the United Sates and world by the 2014 Travelers' Choice rankings. San Diego Zoo Safari Park near Escondido was named the fourth best zoo in the U.S. and 11th overall in the world.

“First and foremost, I'm delighted that both facilities were even recognized out of all the great zoos in the world. To be ranked at that level is phenomenal,” San Diego Zoo chief marketing officer Ted Molter said Thursday. “Word-of-mouth is always the strongest tool and this is great validation.”

The Henry Doorly Zoo, in Omaha, Nebraska, was named the top zoo in the U.S. and the world.

TripAdvisor.com says the rankings were picked “based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers.”

"Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for zoos and aquariums worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period."

Other top San Diego attractions included SeaWorld — picked as the No. 17 U.S. amusement park — and the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, which was named the 14th best U.S. aquarium.

Molter said despite falling a little short of the top spot for zoos, neither he nor anyone at the zoo was disappointed. The more good zoos there are in the world, the better it will be for animals in captivity and for endangered species preservation overall, he said.

“It’s not our desire to be the last zoo standing. We need lots of good zoos. Zoos are collaborative entities and we need each other to be successful,” Molter said.

Ironically, TripAdvisor reviewers only picked the zoo as the eighth best "Thing to do in San Diego," behind No. 4 Fort Rosecrans Cemetery and No. 2 USS Midway Museum but slightly ahead of the 10th-ranked Mormon Battalion Historic Site in Old Town.

The pandas could not be reached for comment.

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