Explore the wildlife you will encounter on a visit to the San Diego Zoo.
Sometimes called the "pig deer" because of adult males' unusual tusks, babirusas live in wetlands and swamps within the rainforests of Indonesia's islands of Sulawesi, Togian, Sula, and Buru.
Bonobos are quite possibly the most intelligent primates on Earth (other than us, of course!)—and the San Diego Zoo was one of the first zoos to bring attention to these highly endangered primates.
There are about 2,000 species of bromeliads, a rainforest plant—all of which are native to the Americas except one African species. Most bromeliads collect a pool of water in their centers and flower above the cup.
When they fly, California condors are a sight to behold. Their huge wings catch thermal air currents that rise up as the sun heats the ground—and with those wings, they can stay aloft for hours.
The Zoo's horticultural treasures are very important for our gorillas' health and contentment. The lush vegetation of Gorilla Tropics, combined with a variety of browse to snack on and play with, has led to a healthy family life for our gorilla troop.
Hamadryas baboons can scale sheer cliff faces to reach their favorite craggy ledges—and there is constant activity as they vocalize, groom each other, bound into trees, and chase each other around.
Known as the bushman’s alarm clock, a laughing kookaburra vocalizes in its family group at dawn and dusk—with a loud call that sounds like a variety of trills, chortles, belly laughs, and hoots.
Lions are famous for their sonorous roar but have other forms of communication as well, mostly used to mark territory. They spread their scent by rubbing their muzzle on tufts of grass or shrubs, and they rake the earth with their hind paws.
Meerkats live in underground burrows in a group—up to 30 individuals—called a gang or a mob, and they spend much of their time grooming and playing together to keep the family as a tight unit.
At the otter and monkey habitat along Hippo Trail, you can see swamp and spot-nosed monkeys play “grab-the-tail” with spotted-necked otters, groom them, and occasionally even hitch a quick ride on an otter as it swims by!
Capable of reaching speeds of 15 miles per hour when swimming after prey (schooling fish, like sardines and anchovies), penguins also have staying power—they can remain underwater for more than two minutes!
Snow leopards live in Asia at very high elevations, where there are steep cliffs. The wild goats and sheep they prey on are quite nimble at leaping from rock to rock—and so are snow leopards!
With its cascading waterfalls, bubbling streams, thousands of exotic plants, and Indochinese animals, Sun Bear Forest® may be the closest you'll come to experiencing a southeast Asian rainforest in Southern California.
Most closely related to horses and rhinos, tapirs have a nose and upper lip combined into a flexible snout like an elephant’s trunk, which they use to reach and pull plant material into their mouth.
A simulation of a tropical Asian rainforest, Tiger Trail features plants watered with a custom, high-tech misting system that has allowed them to grow to the point where you may truly feel like you're walking into a jungle.