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Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Garden Facts


November 28, 1966


Griffith Park, 5333 Zoo Drive, Los Angeles 90027; (323) 666-6400; fax (323) 662-9786


The City of Los Angeles owns and operates the Zoo through the Recreation and Parks Department. The city funds daily operations, animal acquisitions and capital improvements. In 1992, Los Angeles voters also approved Proposition A that provided $25 million toward the redesign and renovation of zoo facilities.


Zoo and support facilities - 80 acres; Parking lot - 34 acres

Average Annual Attendance

1.4 million visitors

Zoo Hours

Open daily except Christmas; 10 am to 5 pm

Animal Collection

More than 1,200 mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles representing 350 different species.

Plant Collection

More than 7,400 individual plants representing 800 different species.

Some Significant Conservation Successes

First successful birth of a mountain tapir in captivity.
One of the largest gerenuk herds in the United States with more than 100 born at the Zoo.
First successful birth of a Verreaux's sifaka (lemur) outside species' native Madagascar.

Support Organization

The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA)

Source: Los Angeles Zoo


The Los Angeles Zoo, opened in 1966, was actually the fourth zoo to open in the city. The first zoo, the Eastlake Zoo, opened in 1885 in East Los Angeles Park.  In 1912, the Griffith Park Zoo opened only a few miles from where the modern Los Angeles Zoo is today.  In 1915, “Colonel” William Selig opened the Selig Zoo, a combination movie studio and zoo in Lincoln Park.


During the 1990s, the Los Angeles Zoo fell into sufficient disrepair that permitted wild coyotes to enter the zoo through poorly maintained perimeter fences to prey on and disturb resident animals, allowed a gorilla to escape, and prairie dogs to drown. This situation led to the zoo being threatened with losing its accreditation.  In 1995, the City Council appointed Manuel Mollinedo to take charge of the zoo. He worked for more than 400 exhibit and facility improvements and won support for the Zoo at City Hall. Within a year, the zoo's situation had turned around so as to win a five-year re-accreditation from the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.



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