Can you believe the San Diego Zoo, one of the world’s largest zoos, all started because of the roar of a tiny lion cub? It’s true! In 1916, Dr. Harry Wegeforth, a San Diego surgeon, decided to start a zoo after he heard the roar of Rex, a lonely lion cub, that was abandoned after the closing of a small zoo exhibit at the 1915 – 1916 Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park. Along with other abandoned animals from the exposition, Dr. Harry Wegeforth, his brother, and three other colleagues founded the San Diego Zoo on October 2, 1916.
100 years later, the San Diego Zoo has grown into the world-renowned San Diego Zoo Global, a non-profit conservation organization that is leading the fight against wildlife extinction. The San Diego Zoo Global runs the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, and many conservation field stations around the world that are committed to ending species extinction.
This year, from June 19 through September 5, the San Diego Zoo is celebrating its 100-year history with a special summer Nighttime Zoo! The evening hours will be filled with live music, special shows, and fun activities for the whole family!
I have to admit that I haven’t been to the San Diego Zoo in years! The last time we visited the zoo, my kids were still babies and they don’t remember much about the zoo, so going back now would definitely be a memorable family adventure. We’ve already planned and customized our itinerary using the handy day planner available on the San Diego Zoo site. The ‘Plan Your Day’ tool is a great way to get everyone involved in the planning process and to make sure we see all of our favorite activities. Here’s what our day looks like (not including visiting the animals) –
We’re really looking forward to seeing all the animals and the movie Rio The 4-D Experience, where Blu and Jewel, the last macaws on earth, take us on a journey through Rio de Janeiro.
In anticipation of our zoo trip, we’ve even started to watch the San Diego Zoo live cams to watch the elephants (my oldest daughter’s favorite animals), penguins, koalas, tigers, polar bear, and more! Yes, it’s really live, so you won’t always get the animals in view, but when you do….it’s so fun! Here’s the penguins and elephants on the live cam –
Roaring Foward Into The Future: The Centennial Campaign
Visiting the zoo gives all of us an opportunity to see many amazing animals, even those that are rare and endangered. But San Diego Zoo Global can’t do it alone – they need our help! For 100 years, San Diego Global Zoo has been committed to saving species around the world and they need us to volunteer our time, knowledge, and funds to continue the important work of conservation. Visit the San Diego Zoo site and click on the ‘Support Us‘ tab to find all the different ways you can help make a difference – every little bit helps!
Are you planning a visit to your local zoo? What is your favorite animal/exhibit to visit?