San Diego Zoo History

San Diego Zoo is 100 years old, a world-renowned San Diego, California wildlife sanctuary. It was founded in 1916 by Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth. The zoo is home to over 3,500 animals and 650 different species, making it one of the most diverse animal collections in the world.

The story of San Diego Zoo began in 1916 when Dr. Harry Wegeforth, a local physician, heard the roar of a lion from his hospital room. This sound inspired him to create a zoo, and he had the help of several friends to make it. The first animal in the zoo was a bear named Caesar, and soon after, Dr. Wegeforth and his team acquired more animals, including lions, tigers, and monkeys.

San Diego Zoo History
San Diego Zoo History

San Diego Zoo Facts

The San Diego Zoo quickly became popular among visitors; it expanded significantly in the 1920s and 1930s. During this time, the zoo became known for its innovative exhibits, including the first cageless exhibits in the United States. The zoo also became famous for animal conservation, and in the 1930s, it began to breed endangered species.

During World War II, the zoo faced significant challenges, as many of its staff were drafted into the military. However, the zoo continued to operate, and it even hosted several military events and parades. In the post-war years, the zoo continued to grow, becoming a major attraction for tourists visiting San Diego.

San Diego Zoo Today

Today, the San Diego Zoo is a world-class wildlife sanctuary dedicated to animal conservation, education, and research. The zoo is home to various animals, including elephants, pandas, gorillas, and polar bears. It also features many innovative exhibits, such as the Africa Rocks exhibit, which showcases the wildlife and habitats of the African continent.

In addition to its animal exhibits, the San Diego Zoo is also a leader in animal conservation and research. The zoo is home to the Institute for Conservation Research, dedicated to studying and protecting endangered species. The zoo operates several field conservation programs worldwide, working to protect wildlife and their habitats.

San Diego Zoo Tour


The San Diego Zoo is a remarkable institution that has significantly contributed to animal conservation and education, from its beginnings in 1916 to its current status as a world-class wildlife sanctuary. The Zoo has a rich and fascinating history that is well worth exploring. Visiting the San Diego Zoo is an unforgettable experience whether you are a local or a tourist.

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