May 18, 2023

LA zoo

The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, located near Glendale, is a 133-acre facility that has called Southern California home since its founding in 1966. The animals, grounds, and infrastructure of the Los Angeles Zoo all belong to the city. The city has workers in departments such as animal care, landscaping, building, teaching, public relations, and administration. Denise M. Verret is the first woman of African descent to lead an AZA-accredited zoo or aquarium, a position she has held since June 2019.

In 1885, Eastlake Park (renamed Lincoln Park in 1917) welcomed the first zoo, Eastlake Zoo. Griffith Park Zoo, the city's second zoo, opened its doors to the public in 1912 and operated until its closure in August 1966, when it was located about two miles south of the current zoo site. The original zoo has been preserved in part. Rodger Young Village, which the modern zoo now occupies, was constructed on land that had formerly used as the Griffith Park Aerodrome.

In November 1966, the zoo first welcomed visitors to its current home. The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens is the official name of the institution since 2002, when it was officially recognized as a botanical garden. There are roughly 7,400 unique plants spread over 15 collections throughout the zoo, representing more than 800 species.

In 1998, a one-acre display complex called chimps of Mahale Mountains opened to the public and began housing chimps. The hillside exhibit includes boulders, palm trees, and a fake termite mound, as well as a waterfall close to a high rock ledge from which the troop leader can survey the entire region. Visitors can see the animals through a glass window or across a series of moats.

The western lowland gorillas can be seen at Campo Gorilla Reserve, a 1.5-acre facility that first opened in November 2007. Two glass observation windows and two other vantage points allow visitors to see the animals up close. The Los Angeles Zoo welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western lowland gorilla in January 2020. Palms, pomegranates, and ferns are just some of the plants on display.

This $42 million exhibit complex in the middle of the zoo built in 2010 and is home to Asian elephants and other southeast Asian fauna. A 16,000 square foot barn is utilized for elephant checkups within the main enclosure's 3.8 acres. The complex is separated into sections that represent the various countries where elephants can be found. Visitors to the Thai Pavilion will learn about the importance of elephants to the Thai economy. Elephants of India Plaza is a conservation center for Indian elephants that also features a waterfall for the animals to cool off in. The Elephants of China exhibit includes a marsh habitat for sarus cranes and Chinese water deer as well as background on the Dai people and their relationship with elephants.

In 2012, a $14 million indoor-outdoor exhibit complex dedicated to herps and terrestrial arthropods debuted under the name LAIR (Living Amphibians, Invertebrates, and Reptiles). The Oak Woodland Pond is the first thing visitors see, and it's a place where native plants and animals may coexist. Poison dart frogs, Chinese giant salamanders, and archerfish, Australian lungfish, and Fly River turtles call the Damp Forest in the main building's 6,000 square feet of space home. Betty's Bite and Squeeze Room, named after Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association co-chair Betty White, is where visitors may see snakes including the Mangshan pitviper, west African green mamba, South American bushmaster, and more. In the Behind the Glass area, visitors can observe keepers at work. Gray's monitor and other threatened reptiles are on display in the Care and Conservation Room. Arroyo Lagarto is a series of outdoor displays for desert lizards, California desert tortoises, radiated tortoises from Madagascar, and radiated tortoises from California. The Gila monster, Sonoran toad, Arizona Desert hairy scorpion, California kingsnake, and other species native to Mexico, Arizona, and Southern California reside in the Desert LAIR, a separate facility measuring 2,000 square feet. The LAIR culminates at Crocodile Swamp, an outdoor exhibit featuring bogus gharials.

The number of endangered California condors has increased from a low of 22 in the 1980s to over 430 now, thanks in large part to the Los Angeles Zoo's successful breeding program. The red uakari is only found in this zoo and no other zoo outside of Peru and Brazil, making it one of the few places in the world to see a mountain tapir.  It was the first zoo outside of Madagascar to have a baby Coquerel's sifaka and one of the first to successfully breed echidnas.

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