San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the world with over 4,000 animals belonging to more than 800 species. The San Diego Zoo is world famous for its state of the art facilities and a giant panda breeding program.
Owned by the City of San Diego, the zoo is operated by the nonprofit Zoological Society of San Diego inside Balboa Park. Located on top of 100 acres the San Diego Zoo visitors can see the entire zoo from a guided tour bus or from the air using the gondola lift. Most exhibits mimic natural life for the animals with invisible wires for birds and open air pools for large mammals.
San Diego Zoo Animals
The most talked about animal within the San Diego zoo is clearly the giant pandas. The San Diego Zoo has the greatest population of giant panda bears anywhere in the world outside of mainland China. These pandas are on a long term loan from China. In 1999 the first ever American born panda that survived to adulthood happened inside the San Diego Zoo. The zoo allows visitors to view the baby pandas from 9-11 in the morning, and 24/7 on the live panda cam at the San Diego Zoo's website.
The San Diego Zoo has a spectacular variety of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Furthermore, the San Diego Zoo also uses its property to promote a rare plant collection. The arboretum throughout the zoo not only beautifies the entire zoo, but many of the rare plants are used to feed the animals as well. The koala bears enjoy eighteen varieties of eucalyptus trees and the panda bears enjoy forty varieties of bamboo.
Directions to the San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo is located inside Balboa Park. Balboa Park is located in downtown San Diego and is right off of Interstate 5. Follow signs for Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo is on the main road through Balboa Park. San Diego Zoo Parking is easy as the large parking lots can accommodate many visitors and there is additional street parking nearby.
Additional San Diego Zoo Information
The San Diego Zoo also operates the San Diego Wild Animal ParkWild Animal Park located a half hour north of the city. The Zoo uses its admissions revenue to maintain the animals and support zoological education, zoological science and zoological conservation. The Center for Conservation and Research for Endangered Species is largely supported through the San Diego Zoo revenue.