San Francisco Zoo
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San Francisco Zoo
Sfzoologo.png
Date opened 1929
Location San Francisco, California
United States
Coordinates 37°43?59?N 122°30?11?W / 37.73306°N 122.50306°W / 37.73306; -122.50306Coordinates: 37°43?59?N 122°30?11?W / 37.73306°N 122.50306°W / 37.73306; -122.50306
Land area 100 acres (40 ha)[1]
No. of animals 1000+ (2015)[1]
No. of species 250+ (2015)[1]
Memberships AZA[2]
Major exhibits African Savanna, Gorilla Preserve, Grizzly Gulch, Primate Discovery Center (Lemur Forest), Cat Kingdom, Penguin Island, Red Panda Treehouse, Insect Zoo
Public transit access BSicon LOGO SFmuni.svg 46th Avenue and Wawona
Website www.sfzoo.org

The San Francisco Zoo is a 100-acre (40 ha) zoo located in the southwestern corner of San Francisco, California, between Lake Merced and the Pacific Ocean along the Great Highway. The zoo's main entrance, once located on the north side across Sloat Boulevard and one block south of the Muni Metro L Taraval line, is now to the west on the ocean side of the zoo off of the Great Highway.

This zoo is the birthplace of Koko the gorilla, and, since 1974, the home of Elly, the oldest black rhinoceros in North America.[3] It houses more than 1000 individual animals representing over 250 species, as of 2016.

History

Originally named the Fleishhacker Zoo[4] after its founder, banker and San Francisco Parks Commission president Herbert Fleishhacker, planning for construction began in 1929 on the site adjacent to what was once the largest swimming pool in the United States, the Fleishhacker Pool.[1] The area was also already home to a children's playground, an original (circa 1921) Michael Dentzel/Marcus Illions carousel, and the Mother's Building, a haven for women and their children. Most of the exhibits were populated with animals transferred from Golden Gate Park, including two zebras, a cape buffalo, five rhesus monkeys, two spider monkeys, and three elephants (Virginia, Marjorie, and Babe).

The first exhibits built in the 1930s cost $3.5 million, which included Monkey Island, Lion House, Elephant House, a small mammal grotto, an aviary, and bear grottos. These spacious, moated enclosures were among the first bar-less exhibits in the country. In 1955, a local San Francisco newspaper purchased Pennie, a baby female Asian elephant, and donated her to the zoo after many children donated their pennies, nickels, and dimes for her purchase.

Over the next 40 years, the Zoological Society became a powerful fundraising source for the San Francisco Zoo, just as Fleishhacker had hoped when he envisioned: "...a Zoological Society similar to those established in other large cities. The Zoological Society will aid the Parks Commission in the acquisition of rare animals and in the operation of the zoo."[] True to its charter, the Society immediately exerted its influence on the zoo, obtaining more than 1,300 annual memberships in its first 10 years (nearly 25,000 today). It also funded projects like the renovation of the Children's Zoo in 1964, development of the African Scene in 1967, the purchase of medical equipment for the new zoo Hospital in 1975, and the establishment of the Avian Conservation Center in 1978.

In November 2004, Tinkerbelle, San Francisco Zoo's last Asian elephant, was moved to ARK 2000, a sanctuary run by PAWS-Performing Animal Welfare Society located in the Sierra Nevada foothills. She was later joined in March 2005 by the African elephant Lulu, the last elephant on display at the zoo. The moves followed the highly publicized deaths of 38-year-old Calle in March 2004 and 43-year-old Maybelle in April 2004.[5]

In early 2006, the SF Zoo announced its offer to name a soon-to-hatch American bald eagle after comedian Stephen Colbert.[6] The publicity and goodwill garnered from coverage of the event on the Colbert Report was a windfall for the zoo and the city of San Francisco.[] Stephen Jr. was born on April 17, 2006.

Exhibit renovations


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

San_Francisco_Zoo
 



 

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