San Diego Zoo (Guide)

Opened in 1916, the San Diego Zoo is a popular tourist destination and one of the cities biggest attractions, which is located in Balboa Park, San Diego, California. The San Diego Zoo was a pioneer in terms of having cageless, open-air exhibits that create real, natural animal habitats. It is one of the few zoos worldwide that houses and successfully kept the giant panda. In 2013, San Diego Zoo added a new Australian Outback exhibit, and another new exhibit, known as Africa Rocks, which opened in 2017.

Information

Attractions

San Diego Zoo includes various types of flora and fauna. Among California Condors, warty pigs, koalas, and an albino boa constrictor, there are even more approximately 4,000 rare and endangered animals, along with a famous botanical collection of San Diego Zoo, with over 700,000 exotic plants. Botanical Collection The sunny maritime, climate and temperate of California are well-suited to many animals and plants at the zoo. San Diego Zoo maintains its grounds as an arboretum, along with a rare plant collection. The botanical collection includes more than 4,500 species of plants and about 40 varieties of bamboo, which were raised for the pandas. Besides, they maintain around 18 types of eucalyptus trees. The American Association of Museums has accredited San Diego Botanical Collections as a Botanical Garden, since 1993. One of the prized collections are orchids, palms, cycads, fig-trees, and coral trees. Furthermore, there are some other plants, including bamboo, acacia, eucalyptus, and hibiscus, grown for animal food. Polar Bear Plunge Polar bear Plunge opened in 1996 and was later renovated in 2010—currently, the plunge houses around 30 species from the Arctic. Visitors can find the three polar bears, named Chinook, Tatqiq, and Kalluk. San Diego Zoo manages to keep polar bears in the sunny city of San Diego, and bear are right at home since the focal point of the Conrad Prebys Polar Bear Plunge is the pool. There is an underwater viewing room designed for visitors to see how playful and agile these Arctic animals ar

Things to do

San Diego Zoo provides multiple options starting from taking the zoo guided tours to attending animal shows, encounters. Besides, there are various things to do inside the zoo, and it does not matter what time of year you visit the zoo. There are multiple animal areas connected by trails; some of them are wheelchair accessible. Each path is marked with time, distance, and level of difficulty to navigate. Visitors should see Scripps Aviary, the Polar Bear Plunge, Tiger River, the Elephant Odyssey, the Australian Outback trails, and the underwater view of the hippopotamus pond. San Diego Zoo features some special programs for visitors fun and entertainment, as well as exciting guided tours, play areas, and kid programs. Guided Bus Tour San Diego Guided Bus Tour is available from 9 am to 5 pm every day. Visitors can get into a double-decker bus and enjoy a 35-minute tour. Visitors can get Go San Diego Card, by which the adult members of the annual Pass will pay $13, for a child aged between 3-11 will pay $10. The payment involves a daily, unlimited ride on both the Guided Bus Tour and Kangaroo Bus. Kangaroo Bus The Kangaroo Bus allows visitors to pick-up and drop-off at four different stops in the zoo. The bus is available from 10:30 am until closing time. Botanical Tours San Diego Zoo provides self-guided botanical tours for visitors to allow them to explore spectacular plant collections and gardens any time they choose. In gardens, visitors can find Australian Outback, Elephant Odyssey Trees, Fern Canyon, Monkey Trails, whi

More about San Diego Zoo (Guide)

San Diego Zoo (Guide)

General Information

Opened in 1916, the San Diego Zoo is a popular tourist destination and one of the cities biggest attractions, which is located in Balboa Park, San Diego, California. The San Diego Zoo was a pioneer in terms of having cageless, open-air exhibits that create real, natural animal habitats. It is one of the few zoos worldwide that houses and successfully kept the giant panda. In 2013, San Diego Zoo added a new Australian Outback exhibit, and another new exhibit, known as Africa Rocks, which opened in 2017.

Capacity

San Diego Zoo is ranked as one of the most visited zoos throughout the United States. It welcomes more than 4 million visitors, and houses more than 650 species and subspecies, along with over 3,700 animals.

San Diego Zoo provides unprecedented access to 99 (40 ha) of acres, with countless stories of a rare type of animals, and the people who are engaged in working to help zoo animals to protect, nurture, and champion them.

San Diego Zoo History

Early years

After the 1915 Panama-California Exposition, the San Diego Zoo developed out of an exotic animal exhibition that was abandoned. A year later, in 1916, Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth established the Zoological Society of San Diego, which followed patterns set by the New York Zoological Society at the Bronx Zoo. Until 1941, Dr. Harry worked as the president of the society, and during his presidency, a permanent tract of Balboa Parkland was in August 1921. Under the attorney of the city, the whole zoo and all the animals would have been under the control of the town itself. Hence, in the following year, the zoo started to move to another site. San Diego Zoo managed to host the animals from the Exposition, along with a menagerie from the defunct Wonderland Amusement Park. A fence around the SDZ zoo was financed via Ellen Browning Scripps, which enabled the zoo to start charging an entrance fee for offset costs.

Zoo Directors

On June 13, 1923, San Diego Zoo announced a new director for a 3-years contract by Wageforth. The director became a famous animal collector Frank Buck. Buck was advised by William T. Hornaday, who was the director of the Bronx Zoo, but Buck clashed with Wegeforth and left the San Diego Zoo after three months to return to his primary job - animal collecting.

Wegeforth, after another equally short-lived zoo directors, appointed the new zoo's bookkeeper - Belle Benchley, for the position of zoo's executive secretary. Later, in 1925, she received the title of the zoo director and served as director until 1953. Belle was the first and only female zoo director worldwide.

First Cageless Exhibits

The San Diego Zoo was the first to create cageless exhibits. Hence, the first lion area, without enclosing wires at the San Diego Zoo, opened in 1922. Later, in 1925, the first publication of ZooNooz commenced. The admission fee for children aged under 16 years was free until the 1960s.

Institute for Conservation Research ICR (former CRES)

The Center of San Diego Zoo for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) established in 1975 by Kurt Benirschke, the first director of CRES. In 2005, CRES was renamed after the department of Conservation and Research for Endangered Species to reflect its mission wholeheartedly. In 2009, CRES was expanded and become the Institute for Conservation Research. The Institue for Conservation Research reintroduced overt 30 endangered species and managed to bring them back into the wild.

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