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Highlights of the San Diego Zoo

Flamingo Lagoon at the San Diego Zoo
Near the main entrance, a shock
of flaming pink greets visitors
at the zoo's Flamingo Lagoon.

If you've already heard about San Diego Zoo - with its reputation for being one of the world's best - you're in for a treat.

Because all they say about the San Diego Zoo is true.

A new concept in zoo design when it was first organized in the early 20th century, the San Diego Zoo is still the model for all modern zoo design.

What the first-time traveler may not be aware of is the enormity of the site, covering acres of prime San Diego real estate - and all of it is devoted exclusively to some 4,000 wild and endangered animals, birds, lizards, snakes and reptiles that comfortably call the zoo their home.

If you have the time, reserve at least two days to take in all of the exhibits and attractions. If time is limited, be sure to see the following highlights and top attractions:

Hop Aboard

For those really pressed for time, bus tours are available. Hop aboard either the express shuttle, which gives a complete zoo overview, or concentrate on the either two express lines taking visitors directly to see the panda and/or the polar bear exhibits.

For a sweeping vista of the entire site, also don't miss the Skyfari Aerial Tram for a ride above the treetops that not only affords a spectacular birds-eye view of the entire complex, but also of downtown San Diego area and surroundings.

The great apes at San Diego Zoo
Meet the relatives at one of San Diego
Zoo's star attractions, "Absolutely Apes".

A Walk on the Wild Side

For those with a leisurely afternoon, begin at the main entrance to be greeted by a shock of flaming pink at the Flamingo Lagoon, then wind your way around a 3-acre tropical forest that makes up San Diego Zoo "central" through exhibits of rare monkeys, wild boar and venomous snakes.

Up Close and Personal, for Kids

Nearby, visitors with kids in tow will want to take in the Children's Zoo for close encounters with gentle llamas and sheep at the Petting Paddock. Next door, also don't miss the free sea lion show at the Wedgeworth Bowl, a small stadium offering the antics of a star sea lion and its human trainer.

More about the San Diego Zoo around the Web:

San Diego Zoo - Official Site - The official site with a calendar of events, admission prices and ticket information, trip planner, maps and directions, photos and video tours.

San Diego Zoo - Wikipedia - Information on its early history, modern exhibits, along with fun facts and trivia, photos and related resources.

Amazing Tales from the San Diego Zoo - Archived PBS TV special with an entertaining look at animal medicine, conservation, and the rise of the modern zoo with photos and related references.

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