Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

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By Sabine Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

Something Tells Me It's All Happening At The San Diego Zoo

An expansive, family friendly venue where conservation and education take center stage


September 1, 2017

Watch a mother langur nurse her tiny baby while battling the half-fatal advances of her teenagers. See a dog lounging with her best friend who happens to be a cheetah. Soar above the treetops in a basket that conveys you across the entire campus and sets you down safely by a store where you can buy useful fanny-packs.

All of these things and more can be accomplished at the San Diego Zoo ( This attraction is one of a whole slew of museums, gardens, performances and exhibitions for people of all interests to enjoy in Balboa Park (

The Zoo is an expansive, family friendly venue where conservation and education take center stage (along with the occasional penguin). There are tons of animals to see, though they might not be organized in any apparent format. If you see everything (and I doubt you will, in one visit) you can also enjoy a number of diverse restaurants, take a ride in a double-decker zoo bus, shop at an even greater number of diverse stores for the treasures of zoo souvenirs, and yes, fly in an aerial "Skyfari"® car from the far end of the zoo back towards the entrance/exit.

The San Diego Zoo also hosts "experiences" that can be arranged in advance such as catered parties, behind-the-scenes tours, workshop photography classes, "encounters" with the animals and with the people who maintain their health and habitats... and many more. In addition to the zoo campus, the zoo runs a separate Safari Park ( where guests can hitch a zipline or ride in a safari van across an 1800 acre haven for endangered animals of over 300 species which stroll in security and (as far as is possible) freedom.

Finally, you can feel good knowing that your admission fee is going to support an organization dedicated to the health of the animals and of their worldwide populations. The San Diego Zoo breeds such rare creatures as giant pandas (all of which are leased from China) and nearly-extinct rhinoceros , as well as maintaining a vibrant Wildlife Conservancy Program ( that allows ordinary people anywhere in the world to help conserve the earth's populations of animals that are threatened with extinction.

People can adopt an animal, donate a few cents a month or an old vehicle, or spread the word across the Internet by sending a themed e-card or pledging various concrete deeds on Facebook (conserving resources, purchasing products made without harming animals, working towards clean energy implementation, picking up litter, etc.)

The San Diego zoo works genuinely in the realms of intangible education and physical preservation to keep the world's biodiversity healthy, and you can support their noble mission while having a fun family excursion by visiting their Zoo and their Safari Park!



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