It’s time to talk about the rare animals in Idle Zoo Tycoon. In this guide, we’re going to learn everything about the Rares, Epics and Legendaries, including the pretty awesome Idle Zoo Tycoon Cthulhu super animal.

We’ve already touched the subject in our tips and tricks article, but I feel that it would be better to focus more on these top boosts for our idle zoos. We’re also going to talk about the best ones to buy starting early game and moving forward, rerolls and stat increases… basically everything there is to know about the rare animals.

So let’s not waste any time and let’s check out below our complete guide for the Idle Zoo Tycoon rare animals!

What are the Rare animals and how to get them?

Rare animals are special items that you can purchase with Fossils, a special currency that you earn from selling your Zoo. This basically means that you start over, but you get to spend your Fossils on these animals which offer nice boosts to your zoo, making your life a lot easier and progress much faster.

Despite their name, they are divided into more categories: Rares, Epics and Legendaries. They are randomly offered for purchase and the rarer the animal, the more expensive it is (and usually, the better it is).

Rare animals rerolls and upgrades
If you are not happy with the animals you are offered (as there is always a limit of 3 you can choose from), you can spend Gems to reroll. Have in mind that the animals won’t change after you sell your zoo, so you will have to reroll if you want a different selection and maybe better choices. They do change after making a purchase, though.

After buying a new animal, you can upgrade it in order to increase its effects. The upgrade price is lower than the purchase price (usually half the amount), so getting a solid animal is really useful in the long run as you can make it even more useful.

List of the rare animals in Idle Zoo Tycoon and their effects

Alien – +8% sell value for all animals
Unicorn – x1.25 mating speed for all animals
Mermaid – 6% birth rate for all animals
Griffin – -6% death rate for all animals
Cerberus – +60 minutes to max idle time
Dodo – -12% animal upgrade prices
Yeti – -12% zoo improvement prices
Ogre – +50% cash and +2 gems per trade

Phoenix – Start with 25 animals when an enclosure is built
Shinigami – Collect 40% of an animal’s price when it dies
Big Foot – x4 Enclosure size
Werewolf – double mating speed between 6PM and 6AM

Dragon – 10x Visitor Income
Pigasus – 1.15x mating speed and +5% sell prices
T-Rex – 1.5x Fossil gain
Cthulhu – Produces 1 Gem every 30 minutes (and must be fed animals in order to be upgraded

Which are the best rare animals in the game?

The good news is that the Rares are the best animals to purchase first, then you should focus on others. Don’t forget to actually save on some Gems in order to increase the maximum number of Rare animals you can own (as you start with only 2 slots). Here is a list of animals which you should invest into, in my opinion in descending order (rares and epics only):

Mermaid, Unicorn, Griffin, Cerberus, Shinigami and Yeti.

This would be everything that we have so far on the rare animals in Idle Zoo Tycoon. Is there another Rare, Epic or Legendary animal that you want to let us know about? Use the comment section below to share it with the world!


  1. Well, which rares you go for has a lot to do with whether or not you prefer an active animal farming strategy or a passive zoo building strategy. The former is faster but requires more attention given to the game. The latter is slower but better for those who only play a couple times a day.

    Reguardless of play style, Mermaid is essential. Full stop. It should be your first rare if at all possible. Without mermaid, you’ll soon find that you need to buy dozens, if not hundreds, of animals per enclosure to get the breeding rate to rise above the death rate, and this will greatly slow your game progression. I would also add that Big Foot and Phoenix help a LOT. (Phoenix will make every enclosure start with 25 animals. Paired with Mermaid, this makes farming fossils insanely fast! Big Foot multiplies the number of aniamls per enclosure upgrade, greatly reducing the costs of upgrading animal enclosures.) Addtionally, if you can afford it, get T-Rex ASAP, as this helps quite a bit with farming fossils. Ogre is also an early game essential if you want to earn gems through gameplay rather than paying for them.

    I would say, reguardless of preferred playstyle, your first Rare Animal should be Mermaid, followed by Phoenix (if you buy gems) or Ogre (if you do not buy gems).

    Here’s where the play style splits, though. If you are favoring animals for ridiculously fast fossil farming, then you NEED Big Foot and Phoenix ASAP, as wel as Griffin, Unicorn, Dodo, Alien, and Pigasus (if you can afford it). Shingami might help a bit, but I’d wait to buy it because the fossils could be better spend on Mermaid/Griffin upgrades (meaning that very few high-value animals will die, making Shingami largely useless to you).

    If you prefer the much, much slower (but less labor-intensive) zoo building approach, then and ONLY then should you consider Yeti, though I personally find this play style to be a total waste of time. You can literally farm 50+ fossils playing fifteen minutes at a time over 4-6 hours without buying a SINGLE zoo upgrade as soon as you have Mermaid, Phoenix, and Big Foot. Even with zoo upgrades, it’s not uncommon to be breeding animals worth tens of billions while your visitor income is a measely couple of million per second, and the upgrades to add even a few thousand to that number will cost as much as your next animal enclosure. The zoo upgrades, in my opinion, are terribly unbalanced and practically amount to little more than a waste of zoo funds. Nevertheless, if you are determined to go this route, you’ll need Yeti and Dragon. Be prepared, though, for your gaming experience to be far longer and more tedious than you could even imagine possible. You will be waiting DAYS for your next enclosure and getting next to nothing from challenges. This is the Nuzlocke of Idle Zoo Tycoon.

    Also, consider, if you can purchase something, buying the ad removal. This will greatly increase your ability to level statues in your zoo, which helps with animal breeding. The T-Rex and Pigasus help, too, but Pigasus is mainly just a combination of Alien and Unicorn, while T-Rex is just plain awesome. :)

    Best of luck to my fellow Idle Zoo Tycoons! :)

    • Great analysis of the rares indeed. I never considered Phoenix good though as purchasing 25 animals is still affordable even with the more advanced ones and with a bit of planning (unlocking the slot before leaving the game, then buying them after getting back from a short break), it is doable. But very solid, in depth advice nevertheless! Thanks for sharing.

  2. This a great help thank you. I will rethink upgrading my zoo even if I’m spending mostly the “pocket change” on upgrades anyway. I bought Cerberus as he adds to your idle time which is a nice effect. The additional slots are getting really expensive why I’m trading only for gems (with the Ogre’s help of course).


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