The San Diego Zoo is a zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, housing over 3,700 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies. Its parent organization, San Diego Zoo Global, is one of the largest[better source needed] zoological membership associations in the world, with more than 250,000 member households and 130,000 child memberships, representing more than a half million people. The San Diego Zoo was a pioneer in the concept of open-air, cageless exhibits that re-create natural animal habitats. It is one of the few zoos in the world that houses and successfully breeds the giant panda. In 2013, the zoo added a new Koalafornia Adventure exhibit, providing an updated Australian animal experience. Another new exhibit, called Africa Rocks, opened in 2017.

The zoo offers a guided tour bus that traverses 75% of the park. There is an overhead gondola lift called the Skyfari, providing an aerial view of the zoo. The Skyfari was built in 1969 by the Von Roll tramway company of Bern, Switzerland. The San Diego Zoo Skyfari is a Von Roll type 101.

It is privately moderated by the nonprofit Zoological Society of San Diego on 100 acres (40 ha) of Balboa Park leased from the City of San Diego, and ownership of all animals, equipment and other assets rests with the City of San Diego. The San Diego Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and a member of the Zoological Association of America (ZAA) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). San Diego Zoo Global also operates the San Diego Zoo Safari Park and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.

The San Diego Zoo also operates the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, which displays animals in a more expansive setting than at the zoo. Animals are regularly exchanged between the two locations, as well as between San Diego Zoo and other zoos around the world, usually in accordance with Species Survival Plan recommendations.

Exhibits are often designed around a particular habitat. The same exhibit features many different animals that can be found side-by-side in the wild, along with native plant life. Exhibits range from an African rain forest (featuring gorillas) to the Arctic taiga and tundra in the summertime (featuring polar bears). Some of the largest free-flight aviaries in existence are here. Many exhibits are "natural" with invisible wires and darkened blinds (to view birds), and pools and open-air moats (for large mammals).

The temperate, sunny maritime climate is well suited to many plants and animals. Besides an extensive collection of birds, reptiles, and mammals, it also maintains its grounds as an arboretum, with a rare plant collection. The botanical collection includes more than 700,000 exotic plants. As part of its gardening effort, it raises some rare animal foods. For example, the zoo raises 40 varieties of bamboo for the pandas on long-term loan from China, and it maintains 18 varieties of eucalyptus trees to feed its koalas.

More info on San Diego Zoo - Things to Do in San Diego

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    Take an airborne shortcut over the treetops to the other end of the Zoo! NOTE: Skyfari will close for renovations starting January 6, 2020.

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    1. San Diego Zoo© Location: Balboa Park. The world-famous San Diego Zoo tops the list of things to do in San Diego with kids. It’s home to over 3700 rare and endangered animals and a beautiful display of over 700,000 exotic plants throughout its 100 acres.

  • Planning Your Trip to the San Diego Zoo

    The San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park at 2920 Zoo Drive in San Diego, California, and the easiest way to get there is by driving. If you're having trouble finding a parking spot, there's valet parking near the gate on busy days.

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    Things to do near San Diego Zoo on TripAdvisor: See 269,623 reviews and 50,299 candid photos of things to do near San Diego Zoo in San Diego, California.

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    There are so many not-to-miss San Diego Zoo exhibits and attractions, including the lush grounds themselves, which the zoo maintains as an arboretum. On-site are many rare plants, some of which are grown to feed the animals (hello, koalas).

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    Some of the top things to do in San Diego Safari Park include: walking through the lemur enclosures, checking out the gorilla family, watching Shiley the cheetah reach top speed daily on her run, visiting the petting zoo, hiking the botanical gardens, or visiting the tiger exhibit.

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    Things to do around the San Diego Zoo. The second list includes all the wonderful sightseeing and fun activities you can do within walking distance of the zoo itself. You won’t have to move your parked car – just stroll outside the zoo and enjoy nearby attractions.

  • 21 Best Things to Do in San Diego | U.S. News Travel

    Home to the renowned San Diego Zoo. this 1,200-acre park is the city's cultural hub.Located in downtown San Diego (about 2 miles north of the city center), Balboa Park is a great place for a ...

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