North America’s finest noble animals can be found in this area of the Zoo. Honor the United States’ National Mammal, the bison, and visit the National Bird, the Zoo’s rescued Northern bald eagle. Just outside of the exhibits lie dozens of oyster restoration beds and a beautiful fountain pond where wild geese and cranes can be found resting.

American Bison

Scientific Name: Bison bison bison

Found In: North America from Canada and Alaska spanding throughout the United States to Northern Mexico.

Size: Weighs 700 to 2,000 pounds and grows up to 7 – 12 feet in length.

Diet: Bison are primarily grazers and forage primarily in grassland and meadow communities from the arid grasslands of Chihuahua State in northern Mexico, through the grasslands of the Great Plains, to the riparian meadows of interior Alaska.

Threat Level: Near Threatened – In the 19th Century, market, subsistence and recreational hunting nearly eliminated the bison throughout its range in North America.

Facts: There are ten wild populations of wood bison within the natural range of the sub-species; all are in Canada.

Virginia Zoo Bison: females Lily and Oakley, who has her horn sheaths.


Black-tailed Prairie Dog

Scientific Name: Cynomys ludovicianus

Found In: Canada, Mexico, and United States

Size: Male prairie dogs can weigh from 1 – 3 pounds and females 1.7 – 2.3 pounds.

Diet: Feeds on grasses, herbs and the occasional invertebrate.

Threat Level: Least Concern – Threats include exotic disease, particularly sylvatic plague, and loss of habitat to agriculture and urbanization, habitat fragmentation, control activities by government, private organizations, and individuals via poisoning and shooting.

Facts: Breeding system is harem-polygamous, with most females copulating with one male and males with several females.

Northern Bald Eagle

Scientific Name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus alascanus

Found In: Parts of North America such as Canada

Size: They can grow up to 30 – 31 inches in length and weigh 8 -14 pounds.

Diet: Carnivore: Fish (dead or alive) is the preferred choice, but will eat small mammals or waterfowl.

Threat Level: Least Concern

Facts: Breeding occurs after maturity, at 4 to 6 years. They mate for life and will use the same nest each year.

Virginia Zoo Bald Eagle: male Abe

Tame your wild side by adopting your favorite Zoo animal with our symbolic Zoodoption program! You can become a “Zoo Parent”  that contributes directly toward one of the Zoos’ animal’s care and feeding for one year.

Contributions from animal adoptions go directly to the Virginia Zoo Keeper Fund. With your gift, we buy treats, toys and supplies for the Zoo’s 700+ animals, as well as provide specialized training for their zookeepers. Our adoption packages also make perfect gifts for people of all ages!

Every animal at the Virginia Zoo is available for adoption at several donation levels, starting at just $25.