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San Diego Zoo

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AAA/Photo submitted by Maria White
AAA/Photo submitted by Maria White
AAA Editor Notes
San Diego Zoo is in Balboa Park at 2920 Zoo Dr. More than 3,700 animals representing approximately 600 species and subspecies live in enclosures closely simulating their natural environments. One of the largest zoos in the world, it exhibits some of the Earth's rarest creatures.

Comprising six bio-diverse zones, the 8-acre Conrad Prebys Africa Rocks is home to more than 40 species of animals, including the hamadryas baboon, lemur, fossa, leopard and South African penguins. Conrad Prebys Australian Outback features Tasmanian devils and kookaburras. You'll get a glimpse at the animal food prep area at Queenslander House, where outdoor decks provide eye-level views of tree-hugging koalas. Elephant Odyssey, a 7.5-acre habitat, features elephants, jaguars and California condors next to life-size replicas of extinct relatives that roamed the area during the Pleistocene.

The Asian Leopard Exhibit houses rare and extremely endangered snow leopards. The 450-foot Mesa Bridge connects Benchley Plaza in Lost Forest with Elephant Odyssey. An aerial tramway provides a shortcut from the main entrance to the Northern Frontier, home to Polar Bear Plunge, a re-creation of a summer tundra habitat complete with a pool with an underwater viewing area. Nearby is the theater for “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs—The 4-D Experience.”

Other features of the zoo include narrated bus tours, walk-through aviaries, an impressive assemblage of primates and a large reptile collection. The park is landscaped with more than 700,000 plants representing 6,500 plant species, including tropical and subtropical vegetation. Summer evening entertainment is provided by musicians, magicians, storytellers and acrobats during Nighttime Zoo, held from late June to early September. Several behind-the-scenes interactive programs and tours also are available.

Note: San Diego Zoo Safari Park and its additional wildlife can be found 35 miles northeast of the zoo.

Stroller and wheelchair rentals and picnic facilities are available in the Balboa Park location. Under 16 must be with an adult. Pets are not permitted and kennel facilities are not available.

Guided tours are available. Picnicking is permitted. Food is available.

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