SAN DIEGO ZOO

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San Diego Zoo Map

1. Panda Trek

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The giant panda superstars spend most of their day eating bamboo, oblivious to the millions of adoring fans that line up for hours for a glimpse or to watch them via a 24-hour panda cam. Six panda births have occurred at the zoo in the last nine years, most recently male Xiao Liwu in July 2012. The area also features golden-hued takins, considered national treasures in China along with the pandas.

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Giant pandas examining an enrichment toy in their enclosure

2. Polar Bear Plunge

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In this recreated Arctic tundra habitat, three huge polar bears lounge about and frolic in the chilly water of a 130,000-gallon plunge pool. Sometimes, for a special enrichment treat, zookeepers fill the enclosure with 18 tons of shaved snow for the bears to play in. Don’t miss the pool viewing area down below; the bears often swim right up to the window.

3. Scripps Aviary

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Inside a massive mesh cage, experience an exotic rainforest with sounds of cascading water and more than 130 screeching, chirping, and cawing African birds. Sit on a bench amid lush vegetation and try to spot a silvery-checked hornbill or gold-breasted starling.

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Scripps Aviary

4. Gorilla Tropics

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These Western lowland gorillas romp and climb over wide areas of jungle and grassland. Parent gorillas lovingly tend to their children, while others sit quietly with chins in hand, contemplating the strange two-legged creatures observing them from the other side of the glass.

5. Lost Forest

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Otis, several thousand pounds of male hippo, lives in a re-creation of the Congo River Basin with female Funani, who gave birth in 2015 to their daughter Devi. They share their jungle home with forest buffaloes, swamp monkeys, and okapis, whose long black prehensile tongues let them grab nearby leaves to eat.

6. Tiger River

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A misty rainforest filled with orchids is home to the endangered Malayan tiger. Marvel at these wondrous animals as they sit majestically on the rocks, with waterfalls flowing behind them. This natural habitat was created to resemble their native jungle environment, with steep slopes, logs to climb on, and a warm cave near the viewing window.

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Malayan tiger, Tiger River habitat

7. Reptile House

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If it slithers, hisses, or rattles, it’s here. Be glad these animals, especially the king cobra, Albino python, and Gila monsters, are behind glass. Cages marked with a red dot indicate the venomous ones.

8. Children’s Zoo

Little ones love petting the goats and sheep in the paddock (wash-up sinks are nearby), while older kids squeal with mischievous glee at the tarantulas, black-widow spiders, and hissing cockroaches. The nursery takes care of baby animals whose mothers can’t look after them.

9. Elephant Odyssey

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The endangered elephants consume up to 125 lbs (57 kg) of hay and 30 gallons of water a day. Keep your camera ready, as the elephants often toss barrels or scratch their back under a special roller. Asian elephants have dome-shaped backs, while the ears of an African elephant are shaped like the African continent.

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An elephant in the Elephant Odyssey

10. Conrad Prebys Australian Outback

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Discover Australian wildlife from wombats to kookaburras – as many as seven different marsupials and 25 species of birds. The decks at the Queenslander House overlook a forest for the zoo’s largest koala colony outside of Australia.

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A koala at San Diego Zoo

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