The San Diego Zoo has long been recognized as one of the city’s most treasured and endearing landmarks. For more than 91 years, guests have traveled from near and far corners of the world to experience what began as a sanctuary for a few rescued, roadside-zoo animals after the 1915-1916 Panama Pacific Exposition in Balboa Park.
From those meager beginnings and under the direction of founder Dr. Harry Wegeforth, the San Diego Zoo has flourished into a world-renowned wildlife conversation force, botanical garden and family attraction. The Zoo is proud of its prestigious accreditations by the American Association of Museums and the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.
Today, guests can explore the 100-acre Zoo on a three-mile guided bus tour, or on foot through miles of paths and walkways. A ride on the Skyfari aerial tram offers spectacular panoramas of the Zoo and San Diego’s downtown skyline. In the last decade, the Zoo has invested in new naturalistic attractions, including Tiger River®, Gorilla Tropics®, Ituri Forest®, Polar Bear Plunge®, Absolutely Apes®, and the Giant Panda Research Station. Monkey Trails™, the Zoo’s newest habitat renovation, is home to six different species of rare and endangered monkeys, Clouded Leopards, Pigmy Hippos, and Warty Pigs, just to name a few.
Other special areas of interest include the Children’s Zoo, the Wegeforth National Park Sea Lion Show and the Wild Ones Show, which feature furry, feathered and scaly creatures demonstrating natural behavior to the delight of our young and young-at-heart guests.