How to build a zoo in Minecraft

An example of a zoo (Image via Minecraft Forums)
An example of a zoo (Image via Minecraft Forums)
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Jacob Burkett

There are many potential builds for players wanting to showcase the natural beauty seen throughout Minecraft. One of the simplest, conceptually, is that of a zoo or menagerie.

These builds allow players to create small biome bubbles in the form of exhibits for the mobs that naturally spawn in and occupy the different biomes across the world. One thing players wanting to create a zoo will need to decide is if they will make a vanilla zoo or a modded zoo.

The mobs that vanilla players will be limited to are those already in the game. Mods such as Zoo and Wild Animals, or ZAWA, will add a plethora of breedable mobs to fill up zoo exhibits and more atmospheric mobs to add realism and life to the most minute details of an exhibit.

How to build a zoo in a Minecraft world

Picking animals


For both modded and vanilla zoo builders, selecting the animals placed in the zoo is of utmost importance. Jungle exhibits might feature pandas, ocelots, or parrots, while a snowy plains biome would feature polar bears or wolves.

There might be a few different water exhibits, one displaying Minecraft’s tropical fish, one for the turtles, and one for the dolphins. There might be a cave exhibit for bats or axolotls, a mountain exhibit for goats, or a taiga exhibit for foxes.

Once the player decides which animals and biomes they need to replicate, they’ll need to begin on the next, much harder step: preparing the exhibits.

Preparing the exhibits


Players will need to pick a design aesthetic. If they want to model their zoo off of real-world zoos, they should make ample use of brick blocks.

The most important thing is accurately imitating the real-world exhibit feel, which can be done through the use of glass, glass panes, and iron bars.

Players should use leaves around their builds as a filler block, as many zoos feature extra growth and nature as features in their aesthetics and designs.



The single most important aspect of a zoo build is the terraforming. For a zoo build to be believable and not break a player’s suspense of disbelief, the exhibits the animals are placed in need to be compelling micro-recreations of the biomes they naturally spawn in.

This means learning how to terraform in an efficient way to replicate and improve Minecraft’s terrain generation.

Collecting the animals


By far the most annoying process for building a zoo, at least for survival players, is collecting the animals and getting them into their respective environments.

The best ways to do this are using leads and an elytra to drag them through the sky back to the zoo or using a boat to keep the animal from moving and then rowing them back to the zoo.

For animals that can become willing, players can use their food of choice to make them follow the player back to the zoo, but due to how slow this process can be, this is only recommended for relatively short distances.

Petting zoo


Players can also take advantage of the plethora of farm animals that can be found in Minecraft, such as pigs, cows, sheep, horses, donkeys, and chickens, to create a petting zoo area that many large zoos have.

This should be the center point of the zoo, with a simple fence outline and gate to allow potential visitors to enter to interact with the animals inside the petting zoo.

Read more: recipe.

For detailed guides, walkthroughs, tips & more, check out SK Minecraft Wiki

Edited by Yasho Amonkar
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