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My assertion is that cat (tiger, lion, etc.) exhibits are more popular than dog (wolf, coyote, etc.)exhibits.  Do you have any data on this topic?



Dear Garman

Thank you for your question. I also wish to thank the authors of the websites I used. I'm afraid I couldn't find any definitive information about exhibits, but the following websites give some idea about the relative popularity of different species. includes the following animals in the most popular zoo animals: 2. lion; 3. tiger; 17. wolf; 18. cheetah; 39. leopard; 45. jaguar; 62. jaguarundi; 63. fishing cat; 75. snow leopard; 79. dingo; 82. bobcat; 84. lynx. The site enables people to vote for their favourites, but as the list includes 10 cats and 2 dogs, it implies that more people will vote for cats rather than dogs.,Top-Animals-Found-at-a-Zoo included the following animals in a list of most propular zoo animals in the USA: 1. tiger; 3. lion; 11. wolf; 14. jaguar; 24. leopard; 31. fox; 34. panther (not specified as to whether this is a melanic leopard and/or jaguar or a puma); 36. wild cat; 43. cheetah; 45. cougar; 53. wild dog; 62. lynx. This gives 9 cats to 3 dogs. included the following most loved animals: 1. wolf;
2.tiger; 3. fox; 4. panther; 7.cheetah; 8.silver fox; 9.leopard;; 11.lion; 18.lynx;
19.cougar; 20.wildcat; 21.puma (another name for a cougar); 27.ocelot; 33.coyote; 64.dingo; 81.jackal. This gives 11 cats to 6 dogs.    

In each of the websites I looked at, the number of popular cat species was higher than the number of dog species. When I was younger, many zoos had a house for big cats, but I don't remember ever seeing one for dogs, although there was quite a nice collection of wild dogs near London Zoo's old Lion House. An edition of QI stated that the most popular zoo animal is the tiger. The lion is also very popular. I imagine that the only wild dog that comes anywhere the big cats in popularity is the wolf. I also think that if you asked the average person to list species of wild cats and wild dogs, the list of dogs would be geater, eve though there are quite a few little-known dogs and cats. I have had several people asking me how to work with wild animals. The number who have asked about working with lions and tigers greatly exceeds the number wanting to work with all other species put together. While this information is not statistically significant, it seems to me that your assertion is corect and that cat exhibits are more popular than dog exhibits. Fortunately, I know a few people who like lesser known animals. For example, when I went to Plzen Zoo, my favourite animal was a wallaby called a dusky pademelon, but I doin't think there are many people who would choose that.

All the best


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Jonathan Wright


I can answer questions about wild mammals and other animals, as well as extinct animals and zoos. I am not an expert about every animal species. I can look up information from books and the internet, but can't verify if all the information is true. Please don't ask questions about: 1. Pets. I am not a vet. Please contact a vet if your pet is ill. You may need to spend some money if you want your pet to live. Don't get a pet if you don't know how to look after it and if you can't provide it with the space, food and possible companions that will help it live a healthy life. Don't take animals from the wild, unless they are ill and/or injured and you can protect them until a wildlife charity can help. It is cruel to take animals from their parents, especially if the parents will look for the babies, while putting their other babies at risk. You may be breaking the law by keeping wild animals or you may need a licence to look after some species. Please check with a local wildlife group. 2. Eggs: Please don't remove eggs from nests. The mother birds provide the right temperature for the eggs and won't sit on them if the temperature is warm enough for them to develop naturally. It is illegal to remove eggs of some species and, unless you have an incubator or a broody hen, the egg may not develop. If you are allowed to touch the eggs, you can candle them to see if they are fertile. If theys aren't fertile, they won't hatch. 3. Fights: Please don't ask about fights between different animals. These questions assume that individuals of two species fight each time they meet and that one species will always be victorious over another. This is untrue. There are cases where a live mouse has been fed to a venomous snake, bitten the snake leading to the snake's demise. 4: Diseases: Please ask doctors or other medical experts about diseases that you may catch from animals. I can't advise on how to deal with viruses, bacteria etc.


I have a zoology degree and have been interested in animals since I was two. I am a zoo volunteer at London Zoo. I have appeared on a BBC Radio Quiz, 'Wildbrain'.

WWF. ZSL. Natural History Museum. RSPB. London Bat Group.

Newsletters of London Zoo volunteers and the London Bat Group

BSC degree in Zoology. 'A' level in Zoology. 'O' Level in Biology.

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