Mill Mountain Zoo, Roanoke, Virginia, A Small Zoo with Great Animals and Great Views

The Mill Mountain Children's Zoo opened in July of 1952. The name reflected the original nursery rhyme theme of the zoo. The zoo, which had been managed by the Roanoke Department of Parks and Recreation, closed in 1976 and reopened in 1977 under new private management. In 1983, the name was changed to Mountain Mill Zoological Park and the nursery rhyme theme was abandoned.

Mill Mountain Zoo has been growing ever since with the regular addition of new exhibits as well as the updating of current exhibits. The zoo is very concerned with conservation and with protecting endangered species. Mill Mountain Zoo is proud to be the home of three endangered species of animals: Red Panda, Snow Leopard and White-naped Crane.

Below is a sampling of other animal exhibits that can be seen at Mill Mountain Zoo.

Corsac Fox

Mill Mountain Zoo has the distinction of being one of only two zoos in the United States to have a Corsac Fox (the other is the San Diego Zoo). These animals are fairly social and, in the zoo, eat a diet of specially prepared dog food and rodents.

Red Panda

When hearing "panda'' many people think only of the larger black and white pandas. The Red Panda, however, are also on the endangered species list. These small mammals, which weigh in at between 10-15 pounds, must be bred in captivity or the breed will not survive. Mill Mountain Zoo has been fortunate to see many cubs born under their care.

Japanese Macaques

These animals, sometimes called Snow Monkeys, are easily bored. For that reason, the zoo keepers and Mill Mountain Zoo provide lot of toys and activities that allow the Macaques to exercise both their bodies and their minds. Visitors can watch the feeding of the Japanese Macaques each day at 2:30.

Snow Leopard

Because these animals are often killed for their beautiful fur, the Snow Leopard is on the endangered species list. The zoo works with other organizations in order to be able to help the Snow Leopards that are still in the wild.

The Mill Mountain Zoo also has a collection of reptiles, birds, including a Bald Eagle and the endangered White-naped Crane and even some interesting insects such as a Tarantula and a Giant Cockroach.

A train, called the Zoo Choo, meanders through the zoo, weather permitting. Also, programs are offered throughout the year. There are summer camps, special zoo camps and even zoo sleepovers, where kids get the chance to have a behind the scenes look at some of the animals while enjoying a sleepover.

Even though the zoo is smaller than many other zoos, visitors still find it to be well worth a visit. One visitor from Arlington, Virginia said, "While this zoo is smaller than a big city zoo (such as NYC, San Diego, or Washington, DC), it has a good variety of animals in a very good setting on top of Mill Mountain with great views of Roanoke city and valley.''

Be sure to check the calendar for updated schedule and pricing information.

Rhonda Harrison
Report this comment as inappropriate
Jun 25, 2009 @ 9:21 pm
I am a camp counselor for YMCA Gainsboro. I would like to schedule an field trip for 50 children and 8 adults. I need the group rate and the operation time of the zoo. I can be reached by email or by 540-819-4418.

Thank you
Ms. Rhonda Harrison

Review, comment, or add new information about this topic:

Discuss Roanoke, Virginia (VA) on our hugely popular Virginia forum. does not guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information on this site.  Use at your own risk.
Some parts © 2022 Advameg, Inc.