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Leader Of The Pack: Fort Worth Zoo Named Best In The Country

After finishing in the top 5 three other times, the Fort Worth Zoo has nabbed the top spot in USA Today's nationwide zoo rankings.

Ramona Bass is the longtime chair of the board of directors and the visionary behind the Fort Worth Zoo's transformation from a municipal zoo into an international conservation powerhouse.

"It is the work of our dedicated staff and the support from our loyal guests and friends that make the Fort Worth Zoo truly special," Bass said in a statement.

Besides being the oldest continually operating zoo in the state, the Fort Worth Zoo boasts more than a million guests each year.

The distinction comes as the Fort Worth Zoo is in the middle of a $100 million renovation. Called A Wilder Vision, the plan includes a complete redesign of the zoo with reimagined habitats for the more than 540 animal species. Phase one, African Savanna, opened in April 2018. Elephant Springs, the second phase of the renovation, is scheduled to open in 2021.