lied jungle (copy)

The Lied Jungle at the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium won in the Best Zoo Exhibit category. The elephant exhibit at the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas placed second. The Omaha zoo also won Best Safari Park.

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium will have to settle for second best this year.

The winners of the popular USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards were announced Friday. The voters picked Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden as the best zoo. The rest of the top 10, in order, are Omaha; St. Louis; Fort Worth, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Columbia, South Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; New Orleans; and Dallas.

Nowhere to be seen: San Diego.

Omaha did bring home a pair of first-place finishes in other categories. The Lied Jungle, now 27 years old, won for Best Zoo Exhibit over the Sedgwick County (Kansas) Zoo’s elephant exhibit, which includes members of the same wild herd as Omaha’s elephants. And Henry Doorly’s safari park in Ashland was named Best Safari Park for the second year in a row.

The contest was held online this spring. A panel picked an initial crop of finalists, then voters determined the winners.

Omaha was also No. 2 in the 2018 results — that time to St. Louis.