Picture the wide-eyed wonder in a child’s face as he or she encounters a real giraffe for the first time, as it reaches its huge head down to take a biscuit. Or the delighted amazement in placing a hand on a glass window and having an orangutan place its hand there on the other side. These are the moments that tell the story of the San Diego Zoo. For nearly a century, people have been flocking to the Zoo to discover animals, and it is our mission to connect them with wildlife and inspire a passion for nature, which in turn sparks a desire to save species. You can see that connection taking root all around the Zoo, as visitors experience polar bears frolicking in their pool, gorillas feeding in a family group, flamingos sparring and marching, and huge tortoises stretching their necks out to catch the sun.
The 100-acre Zoo is home to over 3,700 rare and endangered animals representing more than 650 species and subspecies. The Zoo is also a protected place where breeding of endangered species can take place to increase their populations. Generations of visitors explore our gardens, exhibits, and animals and learn about the mystery and beauty of the wildlife that shares our planet. Whether it’s the roly-poly giant pandas at play, the intent gaze of a jaguar, a tangle of tails and trunks at Elephant Odyssey, or the flamboyant flair of a peacock, everyone can make a joyful connection at the San Diego Zoo and be inspired to make a difference.
Connecting people with wildlife and raising awareness about the challenges many species face are ways that the San Diego Zoo helps save species from extinction. We also partner with other organizations to shore up populations of endangered species.