Los Angeles Zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo (formally the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens), is a 113-acre (46 ha) zoo founded in 1966 and located in Los Angeles, California. The City of Los Angeles owns the entire zoo, its land and facilities, and the animals. Animal care, grounds maintenance, construction, education, public information, and administrative staff are city employees.

History and overview

The zoo, located in Los Angeles' Griffith Park, is home to 1,100 animals from around the world. The first zoo opened in 1912 and was about two miles (3.2 km) south of its current site until about 1965. Remnants of the zoo remain and were used in the film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. The site of the current zoo was formerly the location of Rodger Young Village, which was itself built on the land which had been used for the Griffith Park Aerodrome.

It has been successful in its breeding program of the rare California Condor, helping to grow the number of condors in the world from a low of 22 in the 1980s to over 330 today. It is one of the few zoos worldwide to contain Mountain Tapir.

In the 1971 20th Century Fox film Escape from the Planet of the Apes, the characters Zira and Cornelius are briefly quarantined at the Los Angeles Zoo.

In 1998, the zoo opened Chimpanzees of the Mahale Mountains, followed by Red Ape RainForest in 2000, The Komodo Dragon Exhibit, The Winnick Family Children Zoo in 2001, The Entry Plaza, Children's Discovery Centre and Sea Lion Cliffs (Now Sea Life Cliffs) in 2005, Campo Gorilla Reserve in November 2007, And Elephants of Asia in Winter 2010.

The zoo is open from 10am–5pm every day of the year except December 25.

Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) was created in 1963 and is a nonprofit corporation created to support the Los Angeles Zoo in its mission to nurture wildlife and enrich the human experience. GLAZA's primary responsibility is to seek and provide financial support for the zoo’s programs and capital projects. GLAZA also provides support through membership, organizing special events and travel programs, producing award-winning publications, coordinating one of the largest zoo volunteer programs in the country, administering the contract for visitor services concessions within the zoo, and supporting community relations, and public relations.

Botanical Gardens

In 2002, the zoo became a certified Botanical Gardens and the official name of the institution was changed to the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Spread throughout zoo grounds, there are 15 different collections, highlighting over 800 different plant species, with a total of over 7,400 individual plants.

Gottlieb Animal Health and Conservation Center

Named after philanthropists Robert and Suzanne Gottlieb, the Gottlieb Animal Health and Conservation Center is a 33,589-square-foot (3,100 m2) facility situated in a restricted area in the upper reaches of the zoo. Among other features, it includes a state-of-the-art intensive care unit, an on-site commissary, a surgical suite with observation area, and research facilities. In 2007 the facility handled 853 medical cases. The smallest patient treated was a spider tortoise (0.08 kg) and the largest was an Asian elephant (4,826 kg).

Shows and activities

California Condor Rescue Zone (CCRZ): The CCRZ is a facilitated play space designed for children ages 6 and up. In an immersive environment, children can learn what it takes to protect California condors.

World of Birds Show: Birds of prey and other rare and exotic winged wonders perform. Show times: Weekends 11:30am, 2pm, and 3:30pm.

Animals & You Program: Featuring close-up creature encounters! These 15-minute long animal close-ups take place at stations in the Winnick Family Children’s Zoo on weekdays.

Winnick Family Children's Zoo: Located at the top of Winnick Family Children's Zoo, this petting zoo enables visitors to get up-close and touchable with goats and sheep in an animal contact area known as Muriel’s Ranch. They have brushes available at Muriel's Ranch for visitors to help groom the domestic animals.

Neil Papiano Play Park: The Neil Papiano Play Park (located in the upper zoo along the perimeter road) incorporates animal-themed climbing sculptures, large play structures, a toddler area, water misters, grassy landscaping, and a large picnic area. It was specially designed to be accessible to all children visiting the zoo, including those with medical and physical challenges.

Animal List

Sea Life Cliffs

  • California Sea Lion
  • American Alligator (Reggie)

Note: For a short time, there were Crested Screamers on display.

Children's Zoo

  • Ocelot
  • African Hedgehog
  • Desert Tortoise
  • Black Rat Snake
  • Sheep
  • Goat
  • Guinea Pig
  • Black-tailed Prairie Dog
  • Thick Billed Parrot
  • Yellow Billed Magpie
  • Scorpion
  • Vietnamese Walking Stick
  • Axolotl
  • Desert Tarantula
  • Inland Bearded Dragon
  • California Brown Pelican
  • Madagascar Hissing Cockroach
  • Mintaure Horse]
  • Donkey
  • Black Widow Spider
  • Panay Cloud Rat
  • Porcupine
  • Slow Loris
  • Civet
  • Meerkat
  • Gerenuk
  • Duiker
  • Mexican Beaded Lizard

Note: For a short time, there were Fennec Foxes and Vietnamese Walking Sticks on display. Usually, there used to be Tufted Deer, but now gone. Fennec Foxes are replaced by the Desert Tortoise again. Since, there were no Vietnamese Walking Sticks anymore.

Reptile Trail

  • Meerkat
  • Black-necked Swan
  • Chilean Flamingo
  • American Flamingo


  • Gray Seal

Note: For a short time, there were Polar Bears on display, but were gone.

The future

The zoo has many upcoming exhibits including the Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles in 2011 and the Rainforest of the Americas in 2011/2012


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