The Sacramento Zoo is a favorite to anyone that has had a chance to visit the area. The exotic atmosphere, wide selection of animals, and wonderful staff make the trip to this landmark worth every second. Children will love the ability they have to view the animals in a safe, friendly environment and even interact with some of the creatures that have found their home here. This Zoo often holds events that the whole family can attend and that parents and kids will equally enjoy. The history of this park shows the hard work that came about to make this place home to so many creatures and the work and effort put into its growth is still demonstrated today by those that keep the zoo alive and running.
The zoo was first opened on June 2, 1927 by bringing 40 different animals together on a small plot of land and was originally named William Land Park Zoo. These animals include raccoons, monkeys, birds, and deer. A fundraiser ran by the Sacramento Union newspaper earned the money needed to purchase an elephant and eventually SUE the elephant, a name given by two local sisters, found her new home at the Zoo. Eventually, city funding began to dwindle and the Sacramento Zoological Society was formed to raise funds for the establishment.
In 1958 the start of the Zoo’s educational programming began. This zoo was only one of the 9 zoos in the united states to have a program of this sort, making it a big step for Willam Land Park Zoo. In the early 1960s, the Zoo began to expand and new habitats were established for the first grizzly bear and two new orangutans. After this new expansion, the zoo began charging 25 cent admission to the public. The name “Sacramento Zoo” was eventually adopted in the 1970s, around the same time the Reptile House was finished. Along with that, the Zoo’s education department was beginning it’s Docent Education Program. As the 1980s came up the Zoo began some renovations in order to make the exhibits look more natural and to provide a more realistic experience for its visitors. Big iron bars and concrete walls were replaced with moats and other barriers and the animal enclosures became bigger and more decorated.
As time progressed the zoo continued getting larger and larger with new exhibits and animals continuing to come in. The Rare Feline Exhibit was built and several different cats were brought in such as the Golden-headed Lion and the Snow Leopard. As city funding continually got lower and lower the Sacramento Zoological Society eventually took over financial control. Throughout the years, the enclosures for the animals have steadily been improved providing safer and more spacious areas for the animals there. New animals have been continuously adopted and continue to be brought in to this day. Some of these animals include red pandas, turtle species, a variety of Asian birds, giraffes, leamers, Sumatran tigers, and so many more.
To this day the Sacramento zoo continues to run and is supported by the community and those that travel far and wide to take part in its beauty. The Zoo’s focus has shifted from simply displaying animals to providing a safe recreational home for them as well as providing educational information to the community about these exotic species. Today the zoo exists for these three purposes: education, conservation, and recreation. So next time you are in Sacramento California, take time to visit this amazing landmark and appreciate the life and sense of humanity that exists there.
Also, make sure you visit the Raging Waters in Sacramento if you want a fun place to cool off.
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