Happy 100th Birthday to the San Diego Zoo!



This ad is from 1961- the only one I've found for the zoo thus far (haven't looked very long!)

"Wouldn't it be wonderful to have a zoo in San Diego? I believe I'll build one."

—Harry M. Wegeforth, after hearing a lion roar at the 1915 Panama-California Exposition

The San Diego Zoo grew out of exotic animal exhibitions abandoned after the 1915 Panama-California Exposition. Dr. Harry M. Wegeforth founded the Zoological Society of San Diego, at a meeting on October 2, 1916. He served as president of the society until 1941. A permanent tract of land in Balboa Park was set aside for the zoo in August 1921 On the advice of the city attorney, it was agreed that the city would own all the animals and the zoo would manage them. The zoo began to move in the following year.

I lived in San Diego from 1986 through 1990. My husband, young daughter, and I always had yearly passes to the zoo and went often. It was fun to see the koalas, and also they had a special showing of pandas one year.

Cool! I would love to go some day. We almost made it on our big California road trip, but we were done driving by Venice Beach.

The San Diego Zoo is A-MAZING. It is worth the visit, worth a full day (or two, it's that big) and absolutely world class. If you're in California, put it on the Must List.
I enjoyed seeing an episode of Simon & Simon set at the zoo. :) Wasn't it one of, if not the first, zoo to allow animals out of their cages and to roam freely in a controlled environment?

Edited at 2016-10-03 03:04 pm (UTC)
The San Diego Zoo also has the Wild Animal Park (now called San Diego Safari Park) near Escondido. When we had the zoo pass, we could go to both places. The Safari Park was like going to Africa in that the animals were roaming freely (though I do remember some corrals where there were animals for the children to pet and feed).
This is a fascinating post re the beginning of it all. I was there in the 70s for only a 1 day visit and spent the day in fascination. The rest of SoCal took up the rest of the several day visit. In particular, the aviary with its walkway on pilings makes a person feel like a bird during the walk through.