The San Francisco Zoo is a fun adventure for a romantic date or a kids activity. Located at the Western end of the city near the ocean the setting could not be any more beautiful. On a clear day you can see Ocean Beach from the Lemur Forest. Located close to the ocean it can often be foggy here, so bring a sweater or jacket just in case.
Some Zoo Facts: The San Francisco Zoo opened to the public in 1929. It covers over 100 acres and houses 250 animal species, some are endangered. The Zoo is divided into 5 world geographic regions. With over 925,000 visitors each year, this is one of the Bay Area’s most visited cultural attractions.
It is nearly impossible to see every exhibit at the zoo in one visit and often some are closed for feeding or maintenance. You might consider scheduling your visit around some of the more popular animal daily feedings. Here are some highlights:
At the African Savannah see giraffes, zebras, kudu and oryx all living together along with African bird species including crowned crane, ostrich, spur-winged goose and Marabou stork.
Don’t miss the Gorilla Preserve with Hasani, the gorilla infant who is being cared for by a foster (gorilla) mother, located near the African Savannah. There is also a Primate Discovery Center, home to some of the most endangered primate species in the world, including Francois’ langurs, black howler monkeys, siamangs, emperor tamarins, pied tamarins and lion-tailed macaques.
The Australian Walkabout has red and grey kangaroos, and wallaroos in a eucalyptus grove. Nearby is a Koala Crossing with five koala bears.
The Lemur Forest replicates the Madagascar habitat with ample room for the engaging lemurs to climb the native trees.
Penguin Island has Magellanic penguins flying through the water at speeds of up to 15 mph or just basking in the sun. Feeding time is especially entertaining as the penguins compete to receive the most food.
The Meerkats and Prairie Dogs Exhibit is located near the Children’s Zoo these are some of the busiest animals in the zoo, in constant motion. On a recent visit a lone meerkat stands as a lookout on top of a tall rock formation.
Bear Grottos including polar bears, grizzly bears and speckled bears live in this outdoor habitat. Be entertained by their antics and romps in the pool.
Puente al Sur (Bridge to the South) features a Latin American habitat of Central and South American plants, animals and birds. You might see giant anteaters, black-necked swans, white-faced whistling ducks, a Maguari stork and other birds.
Children’s Zoo is in a 6-acre park and provides opportunities for kids to interact with animals such as goats, pigs, sheep and even llamas.
Little Puffer Railroad is one of my favorites at the zoo. Ride a miniature steam train around the zoo with a real life conductor. You can also ride on the restored carousel.
There are several snack bars and cafes sprinkled throughout the property should you decide to dine here. An outing to the Zoo is fun for people of all ages and you don’t have to have children to enjoy your Zoo experience. While you are near the beach, you might want to consider taking a Land’s End Walking Tour.
September 4-6, 2010 – Wear Pink and Celebrate the new Flamingo Chicks. The Zoo is celebrating the birth of three new chicks. Wear a visible article of pink clothing and receive one dollar off general admission. Wearing pink also gets you $10 off a Membership plus a FREE pink popcorn!
September 19, 2010 – Opening of the Newest Exhibit: Interactive Rainforest Maze! Play your way through this fun activity and see the anaconda, frogs and butterflies. Special Members’-only preview September 18.
Deals: The first Wednesday of every month the Zoo is free to San Francisco residents with a valid identification card.
See my Slideshow: Sights at the San Francisco Zoo.
Watch the video: Flamingo Chicks.
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