|Location||3903 N. St. Mary's Street
San Antonio, Texas, USA
|Land area||57 acres (23 ha)|
|No. of animals||3,500+|
|No. of species||750|
The San Antonio Zoo is an Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoo in Midtown San Antonio, Texas, United States. It is located in the city's Brackenridge Park. The 35-acre (14 ha) zoo has a collection of over 3,500 animals representing 750 species. The zoo's annual attendance exceeds 1,000,000. It also runs non-animal attractions, such as the narrow gauge San Antonio Zoo Eagle train ride, which first opened in 1956 and utilizes three Chance Rides C.P. Huntington locomotives.
What is now known as the San Antonio Zoo began in 1914 when Colonel George Washington Brackenridge, one of the city's leading citizens, placed bison, deer, monkeys, African lions, and bears on land he had deeded to the city. The land became Brackenridge Park and Golf Course.
The San Antonio Zoo opened two of the first cageless exhibits in the United States in November 1929 that offered visitors views of the animals not available in caged exhibits. The Richard Friedrich Aquarium was dedicated in 1948, and the Hixon Bird House, funded through the efforts of Colonel Frederick C. Hixon, opened in 1966. The zoo's bird collection is now one of the world's largest.
The San Antonio Zoo housed the first herd of addra gazelle in captivity in 1969 and continues to be active in the breeding program for this critically endangered species. Due to the former hoofstock quarantine point in San Antonio, the San Antonio Zoo has historically had a wide variety of hoofstock species.
The zoo is involved in breeding a number of endangered species including black rhino, leopard, golden lion tamarin, dama gazelle, Attwater's prairie chicken, black mangabey, African lion, black-footed ferret, Komodo dragon, Andean condor, and Caribbean flamingos.
The zoo opened Phase II of Africa Live in 2010. Phase I, which opened in 2007, brought a new exhibit for hippos with underwater viewing area and one for new Nile crocodiles as well as many other smaller animals. Phase II contains Angolan colobus monkeys, okapi, African hunting dogs, rock hyrax, and various species of birds contained in the second largest aviary in the world. On June 18, 2013, a two-headed turtle, along with three one-headed turtles hatched. The two-headed turtle was later named Thelma and Louise after the 1991 film. Thelma and Louise later died on July 29, 2014, from unknown causes.
Africa Live! is the San Antonio Zoo's newest exhibit. Consisting of three phases, Africa Live! gives guests a chance to experience Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi. Guests can observe the hippopotamus, Nile crocodile, and African cichlids through underwater viewing windows. Also found in Africa Live! are Angola colobus, okapi, African wild dog, rock hyrax, Wolf's mona monkey, and various species of birds.
Phase III of Africa Live will consist of new or remodeled exhibits for African elephants, zebra, giraffes, and rhinoceros. In November 2015, the zoo opened a remodeled Giraffe exhibit with a feeding station and other animals like zebras and ostriches will move in with them.
African Plains takes visitors through a rocky, arid expanse, backed by natural limestone walls. African Plains hosts a number of animals including zebra, ostrich, topi, marabou stork, and various antelope.
Amazonia houses the zoo's South American plants and animals. The zoo's main waterway makes up a large portion of Amazonia. The open flight deck allows guests to enter the exhibit and observe scarlet ibis, among other birds, the family of spider monkeys, giant anteaters, and purchase food to feed tilapia.
Several cats, including the jaguar and ocelot are located within Amazonia. The exhibit is also home to New World monkeys including tamarins, marmosets, capuchin monkeys, and sakis. Other animals include anaconda, armadillos, sloths, bats, and the Andean condor.
A cave-like area for visitors to walk through. It houses the zoo's smaller cats, such as a fishing cat, black-footed cats, clouded leopards, and a caracal. As well as a few mammals that look similar to cats: ringtail cat, fossa, and a northern treeshrew.
The zoo contains whooping cranes, blue cranes, Manchurian cranes, and the hooded crane. The exhibit is a lush environment constructed on the existing waterway that allows guests to be immersed in the cranes' habitat. It is an opportunity that is becoming increasingly rare in the wild.
A fully enclosed circular building, with glass-fronted enclosures displaying a wide variety of bird species from all over the world. In the middle of the rotunda is a small island planted with trees and shrubs, and containing a small pond. The free-flight birds stay here, and sometimes venture out into the open to explore.
Visitors head straight from African Plains to Rift Valley. Walking uphill, the zoo displays large animals such as white rhinoceros and cheetah, as well as smaller animals such as dik-dik, duiker, and a bateleur eagle. As you head back down, you'll come across more antelopes, warthogs, and the lions.
A building housing the zoo's amphibian collection, including frogs, toads, salamanders, and caecilians.