If you visit the Nashville Zoo, then you can see over 2,700 animals and 365 species. Every family is there to visit, ranging from amphibians and birds to mammals and arthropods.

Although everyone has a favorite cute animal to see when they visit the zoo, a few of them in Nashville are going to melt your heart when you visit. These are the ones you’ll want to visit first during your stay!

1. Meerkats

These small mammals live in underground burrows with up to 40 individuals at a time. A group of them is called a “mob,” and it is understandable once you see how they interact with each other. They have a security guard on duty at all times, sending out an alarm whenever danger is near.

2. Guinea Pigs

These small mammals are part of the Expedition Peru component of the Nashville Zoo. A baker’s dozen of species are officially recognized, with four of them present to see during your visit. These social animals always seem to be on the lookout for a grand adventure!

3. Red Panda

Although these animals are a bit shy, their impressive fur and expressive face make them one of the cutest species around. They were once thought to be relatives of bears and raccoons, but we now know that they are wholly unique. A wrist bone works like a thumb for them so that they can grip bamboo to eat for dinner.

4. Ring-Tailed Lemur

These animals call the southern area of Madagascar home. They prefer living in social groups that can total up to 25 individuals. When they travel, each one raises their tail high so that everyone can pick out members of the group.

5. Southern Pudu

This animal at the Nashville Zoo is one of the smallest deer in the world. Adults are only 17 inches tall at the shoulder. They tend to be solitary creatures, although they tend to travel in groups for safety. You can see them creating tunnels in the underbrush, keeping them out of sight from potential predators.

6. Two-toed Sloth

These cue animals sleep for up to 20 hours daily. Although they have a reputation for being slow, they can climb up to eight feet in a minute. Their digestion is a different story – it can take up to a month to digest a meal!

What are your favorite animals to see when you visit the Nashville Zoo?