san diego zoo

San Diego Zoo


The world-famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California is one of the largest, most progressive zoos in the world boasting over 4000 animals of more than 800 species. It is privately operated by the nonprofit Zoological Society of San Diego on 100 acres of parkland 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 grew out of exotic animal exhibitions abandoned after the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Dr. Harry Wegeforth founded the Zoological Society of San Diego, meeting October 2, 1916 and initially following precedents set by the New York Zoological Society. A permanent tract of land in Balboa Park was set aside in August 1921, and the zoo began to move in the following year. The publication ZooNooz commenced in early 1925.

balboa park

The San Diego Zoo has been a pioneer in building "cageless" exhibits. The Zoo's Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) was founded in 1975. CRES was renamed the division of Conservation and Research for Endangered Species in 2005 to better reflect its mission.

The San Diego Zoo is one of the world's few major zoos to have almost all of its major exhibits be open-air; in fact, the only major exhibition building on grounds is the Reptile House.

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