Similar in approach to the highly respected Fort Worth Zoo  is Waco’s Cameron Park Zoo (1701 N. Fourth St., 254/750-8400, www.cameronparkzoo.com , 9a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun., $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 children 4–12). Dirt paths and wooden bridges connect habitats featuring animals from Africa, Asia, and the Americas in re-created environments simulating their homelands (they apparently have no idea they’re in Waco ).
The herpetarium is particularly impressive, with lush plants and waterfalls surrounding dozens of species of reptiles and amphibians. Lions, lemurs, and the King Vulture are other popular attractions.
The zoo represents its Texas roots with the Brazos River Country exhibit, where visitors follow the footsteps of early Spanish explorers who searched for the seven cities of gold through the seven habitats of plant and animal life along the mighty river.