Zoo Fact Sheet
The mission of the San Francisco Zoo is to connect people with wildlife,
inspire caring for nature, and advance conservation action.
The San Francisco Zoo is Northern California’s oldest and largest zoological park and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). It has an annual attendance of 925,000 people per year, making it one of the most visited recreational and cultural attractions in the Bay Area. Since its founding in 1929, the Zoo has served as an enduring tradition for Bay Area families for generations.
Located adjacent to the Pacific Ocean along the Great Highway, the 100-acre facility is managed and operated by the private, non-profit San Francisco Zoological Society in a unique partnership with the City and County of San Francisco. The Zoo is funded through gate admission fees, retail sales, membership dues, contributions, and support from the city.
Under the leadership of a 60-member board of directors and an executive director, the Zoo has an annual budget of $20 million and approximately 220 employees. The San Francisco Zoological Society has more than 25,000 household members, making it one of the top ten zoological societies in the United States.
Location and Information
The San Francisco Zoo is located on the Great Highway between Skyline and Sloat Boulevards, next to the Pacific Ocean. The mailing address is 1 Zoo Road, San Francisco, California 94132. For more information, call us at 415-753-7080.
WINTER HOURS (November 7 to March 11)
Open daily 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The last Member entry and admission sold is at 3:30 p.m. (Subject to change based on holiday weekends or serious weather conditions. Please call before your visit on stormy days.)
Children's Zoo open 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except as noted:
Family Farm 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Insect Zoo 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Animal Resource Center 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
REGULAR HOURS (March 12 to November 6)
Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The last admission sold is at 4 p.m. (Subject to change based on serious weather conditions. Please check the Zoo's Web site before your visit on stormy days.)
Children's Zoo open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except as noted:
Family Farm 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Insect Zoo 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Animal Resource Center 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Lion House is open from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
General admission prices are: Adults $15; Seniors $12; Children age 4-14 $9; and Children age 3 and under are free. For San Francisco residents: Adults $12; Seniors $7.50; Children ages 4-14 $5.50; and Children age 3 and under are free. San Francisco Zoological Society members receive free admission and other benefits with annual membership. Parking is $8. The first Wednesday of each month is free for San Francisco residents only. In addition, discounts are given for Muni riders, disadvantaged access groups and San Francisco Recreation and Park Department groups.
*Prices subject to change without notice.
Guest Services, Rides, and Feeding Demonstrations*
The Friend and Taube Family Entry Village includes ticketing, membership services and information, the Wildlife Connection gift store, and the Connie and Bob Lurie Education Center. The Leaping Lemur Café and Terrace Café feature indoor and outdoor dining, and a delicious variety of food choices. Enjoy rides on the historic Little Puffer miniature steam train and the beautifully restored Dentzel Carousel. Feeding and Demonstration Schedule.
*All times and operations are subject to change without notice.
This three-acre, multi-species habitat features giraffe, zebra, kudu, horned oryx and African bird species. Visitors can see animals from several vantage points, including the center of the exhibit itself accessed via a covered passageway. Visitors emerge from the tunnel to an open deck situated at the animals’ watering hole. Families also can enter the 40’ tall state-of-the-art Bernard Osher Giraffe Lodge, the indoor home for the giraffes, and see endangered African bird species such as the Waldrapp Ibis in the African Aviary.
In June 2007, the Zoo introduced guests to the rugged regions of North America for a view of the San Francisco Zoo’s orphaned, Montana-born, female grizzly bears – fair-haired Kachina and her chocolate-colored sister, Kiona - in the bear’s new expansive exhibit, Hearst Grizzly Gulch. The San Francisco Zoo is the first and only facility in Northern California to house the official state animal and icon of the California state flag.
The one-acre, Hearst Grizzly Gulch is one of the largest zoo exhibits dedicated to grizzly bears, featuring a sunny meadow for Kachina and Kiona to explore, dig, and romp in, a popular family favorite. In the center of it all is a mountain stream waterfall and 20,000-gallon pool, perfect for the grizzly girls to fish for an afternoon snack.
Lipman Family Lemur Forest
Four species of endangered lemur, including black and white ruffed, red ruffed, ring-tailed, white-fronted and black lemurs can be found in the Lipman Family Lemur Forest habitat. Two acres featuring tall climbing trees and climbing structures allow the lemurs to use their leaping and climbing skills. Visitors can see the lemurs eye-to-eye from an elevated boardwalk.
Opened in 1984, Penguin Island provides the Zoo's Magellanic penguin colony of more than 50 birds with a spacious 200-foot pool and an island with nesting burrows. It is the most successful breeding colony of captive Magellanic penguins in the world. The island was renovated in 1991 to resemble the Patagonian coast of Argentina.
Additional exhibits include:
The dramatic Jones Family Gorilla Preserve, Koala Crossing, Puente al Sur (“Bridge to the South”), the Lion House, the bear grottos, South American Tropical Forest, Australian WalkAbout, and Flamingo Lake. The Fisher Family Children’s Zoo is home to the Family Farm, the meerkat and prairie dog exhibit, the Insect Zoo, and the Fisher-Price Littler Learners Cabin. In addition, the Koret Animal Resource Center, located adjacent to the Fisher Family Children’s Zoo, is home to animals participating in the Zoo’s outreach and education programs, including the summer Nature Trail program.
The San Francisco Zoo houses more than 693 animals representing some 197 species, including 78 mammal species, 26 reptile and amphibian species, 84 bird species, and 50 invertebrate species. Approximately 52 animals are currently on breeding loan to other institutions, and 64 on exhibit in San Francisco are on loan from other institutions. The animals of the Zoo are arranged by five zoogeographic regions - Africa, Asia, Australia, South America, and North America.
The San Francisco Zoo supports the conservation of wildlife at the Zoo and worldwide. Our programs include breeding programs for endangered species, as well as conservation, education, and research projects in “conservation hotspots” around the world. Scientific research at the Zoo also supports our conservation mission, as do our ongoing efforts toward sustainability in our daily operations.
The Zoo is committed to addressing the plight of threatened and endangered species by actively participating in captive breeding programs as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), Taxon Advisory Group (TAG) and Population Management Plan (PMP) programs. Twenty-nine species at the Zoo are classified as endangered or threatened, and the Zoo has 66 registered species through the AZA’s SSP and TAG programs. The Zoo has contributed greatly to the captive and wild populations of various endangered species including black rhinos, snow leopards and the bald eagle.
Following 22 years of extensive California bald eagle research, field study, and the successful hatching and releasing of 103 bald eagle chicks to the wild, the San Francisco Zoo concluded its California Bald Eagle Recovery Program in Southern California. Established in 1985, the Zoo’s California Bald Eagle Recovery Program served as the only large-scale captive breeding program for bald eagles in the western United States and was a major focus of the Zoo’s Avian Conservation Center. The San Francisco Zoo’s eagle conservation program has been part of an active partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the nonprofit Institute for Wildlife Studies, and the Montrose Settlements Restoration Program, a coalition that includes three state and three federal agencies.
In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Zoo initiated a conservation and public education effort in 2004 to save the endangered San Francisco garter snake and also participates in separate programs that help with the local recovery and release of the Pacific chorus frog and Western pond turtle
The Zoo also supports conservation by operating in an environmentally responsible manner, such as recycling tons of aluminum, glass, cardboard, paper, and plastic every year from visitors and staff, as well as tons of animal and landscaping waste for composting.
Supporting the Zoo
The San Francisco Zoological Society was established in 1954 as a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the support of the San Francisco Zoo. Today, the Zoological Society has roughly 30,000 members, making it one of the top ten zoological societies in the country. A Zoo membership offers the best value, while simultaneously supporting the Zoo’s mission. Featuring various benefit levels, a Zoo membership includes free admission for every day of the year, free guest passes, discounts, special events, a subscription to the quarterly magazine, an e-newsletter, and more.
Refer to the San Francisco Zoo’s Calendar of Events for a complete listing and descriptions of upcoming events. Some of our regular annual events are as follows:
“Woo at the Zoo!” - February
Get cozy with your loved one to the warmth of a fireplace while you add some spice and education to your love life with the San Francisco Zoo’s Valentine’s-themed adventure – “Woo at the Zoo” – featuring the sexual and mating behavior of animals. Contrary to common belief, the animals will not “mate on cue” during the Zoo’s adults-only affair (21 years and older), but one will learn the many facets to the birds and the bees of the animal kingdom. This dynamic, multimedia event provides an entertaining approach to the erotic life of wildlife and how animals choose their mates and raise their families.
Lunar New Year - February
Families can enjoy music, crafts and food, all in the Asian spirit of ringing in the New Year. Special treats are given to the animals, and the theme centers around the Chinese Zodiac animals.
Latino Heritage Celebración – September
Come be a part of the San Francisco Zoo’s annual Latino Heritage Celebración! It’s a fun-filled day for the entire family, featuring Latino cultural arts and crafts and live entertainment including children’s dance groups and traditional music. Special keeper talks and animal feedings focus on native Latin American animals.
Boo at the Zoo – October
The San Francisco Zoo presents its annual Boo at the Zoo, sponsored by Radio Disney. This “spooktacular” daytime Halloween event for little ghosts and goblins features a host of fun-filled activities and lively entertainment. Costumed kids can visit trick-or-treat stations around the Zoo and dare to venture onto the “Haunted Nature Trail” where they can meet live animals, such as snakes and owls. As a bonus, watch as Zoo animals enthusiastically enjoy their special pumpkin treats during the Pumpkin Stomp and Chomp.
Education and Outreach Programs
Education is a major component of the Zoo’s mission. Under the Zoological Society, the scope and reach of the Zoo’s education programs have increased significantly over the years.
Adult Volunteers and Docents
54,256 school age children participated in self-guided & docent tours and a total of 50,988 hours were contributed by adult volunteers and docents.
More than 300 teens participate in our volunteer programs: Nature Trail, Junior Zoologist, Talk on the Wild Side, ZooCrew, and Zoo Teaching Assistant programs. These total over 4,000 volunteer hours.
The ZooMobile visited more than 10,000 children, teachers and seniors, and 399 total presentations were delivered. 92 school sites and 29 community centers were visited
ZooCamp (including Summer – June-August, Winter, and Spring) consisted of over 1500 children attending our popular day-camp programs.
Public programs (Girl Scouts, Adult Illustration Classes, Weekend programs, Junior Keeper Club Meetings, etc.) bring over 550 visitors, who participate in various classes offered on Zoo grounds.
214 Toddler Classes were offered, including Little Learners, ZooArt, and Animal Adventures and 2018 guests participated in the classes.
The Zoo participates in a “Wild About Art and Science” Annual Contest, where 54 SFUSD Schools participated, 73 classes total, and 1100 individual art submissions.
Lastly, the Zoo participates in the Community Access Program (CAP). Last fiscal year, 454 School Groups and 157 San Francisco Community Groups were admitted free of charge.
Fisher-Price® Little Learners’ Log Cabin
Bay Area toddlers have another reason to be excited when it comes to learning about animals and nature with the first-ever Fisher-Price® Little Learners’ Log Cabin at the historic San Francisco Zoo.
Nestled in a 3,000-square-foot wooded grove site at the Children’s Zoo, the Fisher-Price Little Learners’ Log Cabin is filled with multi-sensory learning tools including a toddler library, tactile tables, animal-based toys, and animal-designed toddler tables and chairs. Made of recycled logs and lumber, the eco-friendly education center is decorated with Fisher-Price shadow boxes showcasing replicas of the 77-year-old company’s original line of wooden toys including Dr. Doodle Duck.
The Zoo’s popular Little Learners education classes are designed for young learners and accompanying grown-ups, to enjoy a dynamic classroom experience featuring imaginative play, songs, tactile activities, crafts and an animal encounter. Through the Little Learners program, children learn the basics of the classroom environment and are introduced to the structure of learning.
Public Relations Contact Information: (415) 753-7201 x 7082 firstname.lastname@example.org