Zoo Tycoon Wiki
Zoo Tycoon Wiki

This article is good, as it is an example of an article that meets the Zoopedia's "quality standards". This article should be used as an example for new articles.

Zoo Tycoon 2

Zoo Tycoon 2 Coverart.png

Release Date:
November 9, 2004
ESRB (E10+) PEGI (3+)
Zoo Business Simulation
Blue Fang Games

Zoo Tycoon 2 is the sequel to the 2001 game Zoo Tycoon.

Originally released for Microsoft Windows on November 9, 2004, Zoo Tycoon 2 is also available for the mobile phone, Mac OS X, and Nintendo DS.


Zoo Tycoon 2 has 3 modes of play: Freeform mode, Challenge mode, and Campaign Mode.

Freeform mode allows the player to create a zoo of limited space with no restrictions. The player is given an unlimited money supply and every animal is available. All objects, except the ones yet to be unlocked in campaign and challenge games, are available.

Challenge mode is very similar to freeform mode. The player chooses the initial amount of money available; players must earn money through donations. There is initially a limited amount of animals and objects. As the zoo increases in fame, more animal species and objects will become available. Many objects must be researched before they can be purchased. In this mode, the player is given tasks that must be included. These include pleasing a celebrity guest, or photographing an animal's behavior. The reward for completing these challenges could be an in-game award or cash grant, and may also unlock themed objects for use in freeform mode.

Campaign mode involves the player receiving a specific goal, and the completion of the goal allows the player to go on to a harder challenge. If all the scenarios are completed, objects become available for purchase in freeform mode.

Game Mechanics

The Zoopedia, an encyclopedia on the entire game and all of its objects, will give the player information about anything in the game. Animal's dietary habits, compatibilities, preferred habitats, real-world and in-game behaviors, for example, are noted on the Zoopedia.

Animals each have their own biome that they belong in. A biome is an important feature in the game, as an animal in an unsuitable habitat will quickly become unhappy. Biomes include alpine, boreal forest, desert, grassland, savannah, scrub, temperate forest, tropical rainforest, wetlands, and tundra.

As a player's zoo becomes more popular, the zoo will increase its fame rating. Accessible pathways, a wide variety of happy animal species in well-kept exhibits, guest activities all play a role in the guests' enjoyment of the zoo.


Original Content

Animal Biome Zoo Fame Conservation Status Scientific name Picture
African Elephant Savannah 4 Endangered Loxodonta africana
African Elephant.jpg
American Beaver Wetlands 3 Vulnerable Castor canadensis
BeaverAmerican AdultF.jpg
Bengal Tiger Tropical Rainforest 3.5 Endangered Panthera tigris tigris (referred to in game as Panthera tigris)
TigerBengal Adult F.jpg
Black Rhinoceros Savannah 3 Critically Endangered Diceros bicornis
Black Rhinoceros.jpg
Cheetah Savannah 2.5 Vulnerable Acinonyx jubatus
Chimpanzee Tropical Rainforest 3.5 Endangered Pan troglodytes
Common Peafowl Temperate Forest 0.5 Lower Risk Pavo cristatus
Common Peafowl.jpg
Common Zebra Savannah 1.5 Lower Risk Equus quagga
Common Zebra.jpg
Dromedary Camel Desert 0.5 Lower Risk Camelus dromedarius
Dromedary Camel.jpg
Emperor Penguin Tundra 1 Lower Risk Aptenodytes forsteri
Gemsbok Scrub 1 Lower Risk Oryx gazella
Gemsbok Adult M.jpg
Giant Panda Temperate Forest 5 Endangered Ailuropoda melanoleuca
Giant Panda.jpg
Greater Flamingo Wetlands 1 Lower Risk Phoenicopterus roseus (referred to in game as Phoenicopterus ruber)
Greater Flamingo.jpg
Grizzly Bear Boreal Forest 3.5 Endangered Ursus arctos horribilis
Grizzly bear.jpg
Hippopotamus Wetlands 2.5 Vulnerable Hippopotamus amphibius
Ibex Alpine 1.5 Vulnerable Capra ibex
Jaguar Tropical Rainforest 2 Lower Risk Panthera onca
Jaguar Adult M.jpg
Lion Savannah 2.5 Vulnerable Panthera leo
Moose Boreal Forest 0.5 Lower Risk Alces alces
Mountain Gorilla Tropical Rainforest 4 Endangered Gorilla beringei beringei (referred to in game as Gorilla gorilla beringei)
Mountain Gorilla2.jpg
Nile Crocodile Wetlands 1.5 Lower Risk Crocodylus niloticus
Nile Crocodile.jpg
Okapi Tropical Rainforest 2 Lower Risk Okapia johnstoni
Ostrich Savannah 2 Lower Risk Struthio camelus
Polar Bear Tundra 3 Lower risk Ursus maritimus
Polar Bear.jpg
Red Kangaroo Scrub 1.5 Lower Risk Macropus rufus
Red Kangaroo.jpg
Red Panda Temperate Forest 4 Endangered Ailurus fulgens
Red Panda.jpg
Reticulated Giraffe Savannah 2.5 Lower Risk Giraffa camelopardalis reticulata (referred to in game as Giraffa camelopardalis)
Reticulated Giraffe.jpg
Ring-Tailed Lemur Tropical Rainforest 3 Vulnerable Lemur catta
Ring-Tailed Lemur.jpg
Snow Leopard Alpine 4 Endangered Panthera unica (referred to in game as Uncia uncia)
Snow Leopard.jpg

Thomson's Gazelle

Savannah 0.5 Lower Risk Eudorcas thomsonii

Downloadable Content

Animal Biome Zoo Fame Conservation Status Scientific name Picture
Addax Desert 2 Critically Endangered Addax nasomaculatus
Asian Elephant Scrub 3 Endangered Elephas maximus
Asian Elephant.jpg
Black Leopard Tropical Rainforest 2.5 Lower Risk Panthera pardus
Black Leopard.jpg
Musk Ox Tundra 0.5 Lower Risk Ovibos moschatus
Musk Ox.jpg
Asiatic Black Bear Temperate Forest 2 Vulnerable Ursus thibetanus
Asiatic Black Bear.jpg

NOTE: The Asiatic Black Bear used to be downloadable content if the player had both the PC and Mobile game. It has since been discontinued.

Ambient Animals

Ambient animals appear in the zoo depending on the biome that the zoo is based in. For example, the red squirrel will appear in a temperate forest zoo. However, the player cannot interact with these animals.

  • Blue-and-gold macaw
  • Common Loon
  • Giant Bullfrog
  • Herring Gull
  • Lappet-faced Vulture
  • Mallard Duck
  • Monarch Butterfly
  • Pigeon
  • Red Squirrel
  • Springhare
  • Toco Toucan
  • Yellow-billed Oxpecker



Tree Biome
Acacia Caffra Tree Savannah
Balsam Fir Tree Boreal Forest
Banana Tree Tropical Rainforest
Baobab Tree Savannah
Birch Tree Temperate Forest
Black Spruce Tree Boreal Forest
Camel Thorn Acacia Tree Desert
Cypress Tree Wetlands
Date Palm Tree Desert
Elephant Ear Tree Tropical Rainforest
Foxtail Palm Tree Tropical Rainforest
Himalayan Birch Alpine
Himalayan Pine Tree Alpine
Kapok Tree Tropical Rainforest
Kily Tree Tropical Rainforest
Mangrove Tree Wetlands
Maple Tree Temperate Forest
Orchid Tree Tropical Rainforest
Red Cedar Tree Boreal Forest
Tamarack Tree Boreal Forest
Tree Fern Tropical Rainforest
Trembling Aspen Tree Grassland
Umbrella Acacia Tree Savannah
Weeping Myall Scrub
Yellow Cedar Tree Alpine
Yellow Fever Acacia Tree Scrub


Tree Biome
African Daisies Savannah
African Violets Tropical Rainforest
Arctic Moss Tundra
Banana Leaf Plant Tropical Rainforest
Blackthorn Bush Savannah
Bluebush Scrub
Cattails Wetlands
Dandelions Grassland
Desert Grass Desert
Elephant Grass Savannah
Fountain Bamboo Temperate Forest
Fringed Polygala Plant Boreal Forest
Large Blue Flowers Grassland
Large Orange Flowers Grassland
Medium Purple Flowers Grassland
Medium Yellow Flowers Grassland
Small Bed of Tulips Grassland
Small Flowers Grassland

Expansion Packs

Endangered Species

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species.

In October 2005, Microsoft released the Zoo Tycoon 2: Endangered Species expansion pack. This expansion pack adds rarer animals, including the komodo dragon, scimitar-horned oryx, and orangutan, in addition to new forms of transportation for guests, such as sky trams, jeep tours and elevated paths. The expansion also has a feature called "variant skins", which means that when the player adopts an animal, it may look different from normal members of its species (such as a white Bengal tiger and King Cheetah).

African Adventure

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure.

Zoo Tycoon 2: African Adventure, released May 2006, adds 20 new African animals such as the bongo, striped hyena, and the meerkat. In addition, it includes African-themed jeep tours, new maps based on well-known African locations, desert-themed buildings, lizard live food, and a new set of challenges and campaigns. The Jeep vehicle tours originally included in Endangered Species are featured in this expansion, with the addition of the new Jeep Liberty.

Dino Danger (Premium Download)

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Dino Danger.

The Dino Danger was released at the end of July 2006. This pack could only be downloaded from the Zoo Tycoon website via credit card. It added four new animals and a campaign scenario. Since the release of Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals, which includes more updated versions of all of the animals included in the pack, Dino Danger was taken offline from the Zoo Tycoon website and can no longer be downloaded.

Zookeeper Collection

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Zookeeper Collection.

The Zookeeper Collection was released in October 2006. Rather than being an expansion, it's more of a large standalone pack featuring the Endangered Species and African Adventure expansions, as well as all animals and content from Zoo Tycoon 2. It includes some Marine Mania features, such as the new mode of biome layout.

Marine Mania

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania.

Zoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania was released on October 17th, 2006. It features 20 new aquatic animals, new marine options, marine shows and several other brand new gaming features. The expansion also includes marine plants, the ability to build tanks, animal shows, minigames to teach some of your marine animals behaviors, 4 new aquatic biomes, and new scenarios and challenges. Changes have been made to the original method of biome layout allowing the ability to turn off rocks , flowers, and trees.

Extinct Animals

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals.

Zoo Tycoon 2: Extinct Animals, was released on October 17, 2007. It is the largest and latest expansion in the Zoo Tycoon series, with 34 adoptable animals, plus two bonus animals. Paleontologists can be hired to find fossils hidden under the ground, or players can go in first person to find them themselves. The tools are a fossil finder gun that beeps based on proximity to the fossils. Then, in the laboratory, depending on the animal, the player executes a series of clicks and spacebars to increase the lifespan and rarity of the animal. If the clicks are executed perfectly, a perfect animal clone will be made. Like the animals in Zoo Tycoon, they get sick with diseases. Due to the extinction of these diseases, the player must utilize the Extinct Research Lab to investigate and find the cure.

Ultimate Collection

Main article: Zoo Tycoon 2: Ultimate Collection.

Zoo Tycoon 2: Ultimate Collection was released on September 30, 2008. It contains the original game and all four official expansions, similar to Zoo Tycoon: Complete Collection. Many people have had a formatting program on their Ultimate collection discs, causing this particular expansion to be not so popular.

Reception and Awards

The release of Zoo Tycoon 2 in 2004 received mixed views. Many parents played the game with their children, which resulted in the numerous awards for the sequel. Although the game is aimed at children and teenagers, the educational side of the game was the rise to popularity. However, there were numerous bugs. Reviews from Gamespot and IGN pointed out poor performance of lower-resolution computers, unimpressive sound system, and acceptable graphics.

Zoo Tycoon 2 received several awards. These include multiple awards from parent organizations for being a family-friendly game that could be played by young children with adult supervision. The sequel also received Dan Takahashi’s "Top 10 Games of 2004". The expansion packs for Zoo Tycoon 2, in particular Marine Mania, also strut over 5 different family friendly gaming awards.


Since the release of Zoo Tycoon in 2001, many other companies have imitated the gameplay, and the concept of running a zoo. The followers since include RollerCoaster Tycoon 3: Wild!; Zoo World; Wildlife Park 2, its expansion packs Crazy Zoo, Marine World, and more to follow; Zoo Empire and its platinum pack Marine Park Empire. All of these have different gameplay and content, but all have the same basic concept.

However, Zoo Tycoon seems to have become more popular and better known. Zoo Empire was a relative failure, while the Zoo Tycoon franchise has continued to expand since it first came out. The most recent competition is Deep Silver's Wildlife Park 2, originated in Germany, which has produced many expansions in the following years, and eventually gained a short-lived sequel called Wildlife Park 3.

Frontier, the developers of the Elite series, Planet Coaster, and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 have released their zoo business simulator Planet Zoo.


Zoo Tycoon
Zoo TycoonDinosaur DigsMarine Mania
Endangered Species PackComplete Collection
Zoo Tycoon 2
Zoo Tycoon 2Endangered SpeciesAfrican AdventureZookeeper Collection
Dino DangerMarine ManiaExtinct AnimalsUltimate Collection
Zoo Tycoon (Xbox)
Zoo Tycoon (Xbox)Ultimate Animal Collection
Zoo Tycoon 2: MobileZoo Tycoon 2: Marine Mania MobileZoo Tycoon DSZoo Tycoon 2 DSZoo Tycoon Friends